Dryden driven to serve
As a kid Johnny Dryden said he looked up to his local mayor.
‘‘I thought that would be a neat role,’’ he said.
Now Mr Dryden, owner of radio network Cruise FM, is hoping to become mayor of South Waikato.
He said he was an excellent communicator and that his radio role kept him informed on issues important to the community.
If elected he said bringing in new industry and marketing the district to tourists would be a high priority.
He had a goal of bringing 1000 new workers into the district to new industries which would equate to a population growth of 4000.
He is also worried about issues to do with the provision of health services.
Mr Dryden is also running as a council candidate in the Tokoroa Ward and for the Waikato District Health Board.
While he is a resident of Putaruru Mr Dryden said he chose to stand in Tokoroa as he worked in the town.
He said he had not decided what he would do if elected to more than one position, candidates can accept only one position.
Mr Dryden refused to comment on a question he fielded on Thursday night from deputy mayor and former employer Jenny Shattock.
Mrs Shattock had spoken about how council was a big business with 120 staff and budgets in the hundreds of millions. She then asked Mr Dryden about his personal finances and how he would manage the financial side of the council. At the meeting Mr Dryden said the mayor ran council alongside the chief executive, ‘‘I’m there to lead a team of councillors, a talented team. I’m not there to make all the financial decisions.’’
In the interview for this article the following day Mr Dryden refused to comment on his personal or business finances. Earlier in his inter- view with South Waikato News Mr Dryden spoke positively of how he had started his radio station in Tokoroa, and then extended the network of stations to Waikato and King Country towns.
He said he had used his ‘ ‘ business nous’’ to set up Cruise FM even though the country was in a recession.
Mr Dryden said he would continue to run his radio station if elected. Much of his work was done by 9.30am when he could focus on council or health board business.
JOHNNY DRYDEN: Is standing for three positions, mayor, councillor and health board member.