Consider serving your community
After 12 years as Mayor of the South Waikato District I am not seeking re-election.
It has been an honour and a privilege to serve firstly as Councillor and then Mayor of such a great District.
I have been fortunate to have served and learnt under three fantastic Mayors: Wally Grey, Jim Howland and Gordon Blake.
All are men who had served our community with distinction and I have worked with some dedicated Councillors.
Nominations for the forthcoming elections open on Friday 15 July and close on Friday 12 August.
I believe that serving either as a Councillor or Mayor is the pinnacle of community service.
The work is demanding, sometimes frustrating, certainly time consuming and its poorly remunerated
But if you wish to make a difference to what happens in our District tomorrow and in ten years’ time then I urge you to give it serious thought.
Being an elected member is truly a rewarding experience.
Going on to Council means that you can – and will – make a difference to the shape of the South Waikato in the future.
Many challenges face the incoming Council.
All the statistics show we can expect a decline in population and have an aging population.
Employment is an ongoing concern for our young people and as good as our Trade Training Centre is, there is the opportunity for more ideas.
Recently in Wellington I spoke on what is happening here in the South Waikato – people were simply amazed at the initiatives and wins from our rural District.
I emphasised that the strength of our District is the commitment of people in our community who get things done, we have an amazing number of volunteers in so many groups.
So if you have been involved in community groups, if you have had the chance to be a community leader in one of our community organisations, maybe it is time for you to take the next step and join your new Mayor and serve on Council.
Be prepared to read and comprehend complex financial and technical reports; understand the multiple legislative requirements that Central Government imposes on local Councils; debate the issues around the Council table; come to grips with what our Council has to do to follow the requirements of Government Audit and a multitude of other requirements.
If you can do all that and still remain sane and keep your sense of humour, you will have the satisfaction that you have made a solid contribution to the future of our District.
I assure you that it will give you a warm glow.
And finally having a thick skin – knowing you will never please all the people all the time – will help.
Mayor Neil Sinclair