Mayor runs solo in race

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STANDALONE?: Mayor Peter Butler.
STANDALONE?: Mayor Peter Butler.

Although there's been talk of other contenders, as of last week incumbent Central Hawke's Bay mayor Peter Butler was the only person putting his name forward to be in the running for the council's top job next term.

It's nothing new in Central Hawke's Bay for potential candidates to keep their cards close to their chest until nearing election time, but Mr Butler said he would be quite happy not to have to campaign.

Last election the only rival for the mayoral seat was former CHB mayor Trish Giddens, and she confirmed this week she would not be running again, with a move to the greater Hawke's Bay area in the pipeline over the coming year.

Mr Butler said that with amalgamation off the agenda, if he was elected he would look forward to continuing his campaign to maintain low-figure rate rises.

"The reason I'm sitting at this desk now is because we were facing unsustainable rate rises of 9.9 per cent each year for nine years," he said.

"Over the last six years, however, the average rate increase has been 2.47 per cent and that figure has come from having to spend $6 million on the two sewerage schemes."

If the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme was to go ahead, he said he believed it would be beneficial to the district to have someone experienced at the helm for the next three years.

"Someone new would take time to learn the ropes - I am here and up and running."
In the meantime, he was keen to find someone local who would stand for the Hawke's Bay District Health Board.

"They would have a very good chance if we block-voted for that one person alone, so I'm looking for names for that."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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