Dry­den driven to serve

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By MATHEW GROCOTT

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.

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