Otago Daily Times
Palmerston farmer first nomination
A FARMER with a passion for his patch has been nominated for the vacant Waihemo ward seat on the Waitaki District Council.
East Otago’s Jim Thomson was the first nomination for the position, and if he was the sole nomination by noon on Monday, he would be automatically elected.
Mr Thomson was nominated by former Waihemo Community Board chairman Rod Philip and seconded by Stewart Johnston.
The Waihemo seat has been empty since December, when firstterm councillor Peter Newton resigned due to allegations of inappropriate behaviour.
Five years ago, Mr Thomson moved to his 161ha Meadowbank property, on the outskirts of Palmerston, after previously farming a 2832ha Macraes Flat property for 25 years.
The farmer was heavily involved in the Shag Valley Irrigators Group and its members suggested he put his name forward for the seat.
‘‘I suppose it’s a case of put up or shut up. If you don’t like something but you don’t do anything about changing it, you can’t really say anything,’’ Mr Thomson said.
He hoped to be able to ask the right questions and get the best outcomes for ratepayers.
‘‘I think the bottom line is that people pay rates to have safe water, good roads, and basic facilities.’’
Mr Thomson had been involved in several governance roles in school organisations and was previously been part of the former Macraes Flat Fire Party for 20 years.
He served 10 years as the Otago Rugby Referees Association’s chairman, and as a referee educator and was a life member of the association.