Mayor pos­i­tive about the fu­ture

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - ABBY BROWN

Cur­rent Mata­mata-Pi­ako Mayor Jan Barnes is get­ting a head-start on her cam­paign for re-elec­tion and is now get­ting about in a spe­cial sign writ­ten car.

Off­fi­cial nom­i­na­tions don’t open un­til July 15, with elec­tions in Oc­to­ber.

But Barnes is wast­ing no time let­ting peo­ple know she wants the top job again.

And while she hasn’t heard of any­one else stand­ing for mayor, she was ‘‘be­ing re­al­is­tic that there may be some­one’’.

At the last elec­tion there were three other may­oral can­di­dates.

Barnes said she didn’t stand last term on be­ing Mata­mata’s first fe­male may­oral can­di­date, but she was very proud of her suc­cess so far.

‘‘I didn’t stand as a fe­male; I stood as a hu­man but I feel very hon­oured be­cause it meant to a lot to women, par­tic­u­larly ru­ral women,’’ she said. ‘‘I am proud to have rep­re­sented the men and women of my com­mu­nity.’’

Barnes was elec­tion­eer­ing in her bid to get a sec­ond term as mayor and projects that would be go­ing ahead at that time in­clude the con­struc­tion of a Mata­mata Civic Cen­tre, in­volv­ing the memo­rial cen­tre, li­brary and coun­cil area of­fice.

She said ev­ery en­tity in­volved in the Mata­mata Memo­rial Cen­tre were hav­ing to com­pro­mise to keep within the $6 mil­lion bud­get.

That was why there was no plan for a stage or seat­ing, which some groups were pe­ti­tion­ing to be in­cluded.

She said some groups would pre­fer a mov­able stage rather than an in-built one.

Barnes said those as­pects could be fundraised for in stage two.

She was act­ing as a ‘‘con­duit’’ for a po­ten­tial in­door sport sta­dium in Mata­mata by work­ing with bene­fac­tor Bruce Ma­gan, Mata­mata Swifts, Mata­mata Fu­tures, the lo­cal col­lege and Sport Waikato.

They have had two meet­ings and were now look­ing at four sites in the area to see if they would meet the needs of mul­ti­ple sports clubs.

Barnes said it had taken her a lit­tle while to get used to cop­ping crit­i­cism for such projects as the Broad­way road trial and the road­works on that same road.

‘‘I do take it hard when the coun­cil is crit­i­cised be­cause I am the leader of that and the buck stops with me.’’

PHOTO: ABBY BROWN

Mayor Jan Barnes is out elec­tion­eer­ing for her next may­oral bid.

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