Sunday, October 10, 2010
Congratulations Cr Jack!
We blogged back in August about 20 year old Wanganui District Council aspirant Jack Bullock. We're delighted to report that yesterday, Jack Bullock became Cr Jack Bullock. Jack polled 12th highest in a field of 32, moving up to 11th when Annette Main's name was removed so that she could assume the mayoralty.
Wanganui is a pretty conservative sort of place, and we were frankly surprised that Jack polled as well as he did. Then again, we've met him a couple of times, and he is a very impressive young man; well presented and articulate (by today's standards). It probably didn't hurt his chances that female voters of all ages will have found him - how shall we say this? - easy on the eye! We'll be interested to see how this young leader performs.
And Wanganui finally has its first female mayor, with Annette Main taking a narrow victory over Michael Laws' deputy mayor Dot McKinnon.
We don't know Annette personally, but she is well connected in the tourism sector, and that is an area which the greater Whanganui region has yet to exploit to its full potential. We didn't vote for either of these two however; we supported Cr Ray Stevens, a no-frills, tell-it-like-it-is sort. We're delighted that Ray was the next highest polling councillor behind Annette Main (Dot McKinnon put all her eggs in the mayor's basket); he works tirelessly behind the scenes. Annette Main has talked about having an inclusive council, and if she's serious about that, we'd suggest that she get on the phone today to Ray and offer him the deputy role, which we're sure he would accept with honour.
There are a couple of other newcomers to council. Clive Soloman is a local surgeon, and has been at the centre of some spectacular fallings-out at the local DHB. We don't doubt his sincerity, nor his surgical skills, but we wonder if his bedside manner needs to be toned down a little. And Hamish McDouall polled very well; the lawyer and author is probably better known for his Sale of the Century and Mastermind successes in years gone by. We note too that Hamish is the Labour Party candidate for Whanganui in 2011 after finishing a distant second to Chester Borrows in 2008, and can't help but wonder which master he'll be serving next year.
And then there's Jevan Goulter. The motormouth from Wellington finished a distant 30th out of 32 candidates, ironically sandwiched (electorally) between two Osbornes; Chandra at 29th and Roger at 31st. Wanganui soundly rejected the personal attacks, smears, low-life antics and stunts that Goulter brought to Wanganui. We note from his Facebook page that he hasn't even been in Wanganui for the last month, which tells you something about his agenda. Sadly, he'll be claiming victory, having endorsed Annette Main when he withdrew from the mayoral contest the day after voting packs were posted.
So congratulations to all those who were successful yesterday, and we spare a thought for those who weren't. There was a number of younger candidates standing for council this year, and we hope that they return in 2013, when there are likely to be several retirements. We salute you all!