our readers' own questions

By Ilona Hanne

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The Stratford Press sent a range of questions submitted by our readers out to the 15 Stratford District Council candidates, giving them a deadline of Friday, September 9 to reply. The 13 Candidates who responded have been listed in alphabetical order. Tony Milham and Keryn Walsh are also standing.

Here we ask them the following four questions:

QUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?

QUESTIONS THREE: Why should someone vote for you?

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?

GARY AMMUNDSEN
QUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?
No! Parking Meters are useful where there is a shortage of parking spaces or one is encouraging people to use public transport.

What we want is people to park, shop and stop in one of the cafes, then browse some more before departing.

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?
Did not answer this question.

QUESTION THREE: Why should someone vote for you?
The Council needs to have members which reflect the community it represents. If your community is made up of only wealthy retired people, then vote for that type of council.
I am not a third generation farmer, and I am not a captain of industry, and I am not retired, but neither are most of the ratepayers. I am putting myself forward so the voters have options.

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?
Right now the issue is the Local Government Reform Act currently before select committee in the Parliament. There is (rightly so) a lot of concern, about the ramifications of such legislation on Stratford District Council, and local councils all over New Zealand

GRANT BOYDE
QUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?
No, the current system we have in place is working fine.

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?
Roading and maintaining footpaths. Although council do a pretty good job in this area, I believe going forward we must make sure funds are used year on year.

QUESTION THREE: Why should someone vote for you?
I have business and governance experience through my past representation on the Fonterra shareholders council as well as current Directorship with Taranaki Veterinary Centre. I have strong advocacy skills, an analytical mind and friendly, open approachable manner. If elected, I will bring the views of the community into the council decision making process which is a vital part of a councillors role.

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?
Local Government Amendment Bill would have to be the biggest single issue facing the council. This is something we must have a united approach to.

RICK COPLESTONE
QUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?
Parking meters would deter people from shopping in Stratford and the monetary gain would not justify the installation cost for years to come.

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?
To not have to wear a tie in council meetings!

QUESTION THREE: Why should someone vote for you?
Stratford is a great town and has a very productive rural ward. To maintain its infrastructure we must make accurate decisions in regard to funding. I believe that I have the link between the rural and the Council. I travel the region constantly and am able to be in direct contact with rural and urban ratepayers.

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?
The impact of Tourism, Forestry and Dairying on infrastructure.

PETER DALZIEL
QUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?
No. Parking meters are not required in Stratford.

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?
It would be presumptuous of me to state what needs changing before I am elected.

QUESTION THREE: Why should someone vote for you?
My wife and I chose to live in the District after living in various parts of NZ and overseas. I am keen to focus my efforts to work with the Council, Business Association and other organisations to tell our story and promote the District to achieve sustainable population and visitor growth that will incrementally create more jobs, help the communities and benefit the council with a larger ratepayer base. I am chairman of the Stratford Business Association and on the Board of Tutaki Youth Trust.

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?
The Local Government Amendment Act if it comes into force. Centralisation of water and roading will strip the Council of many of its responsibilities and result in amalgamation by stealth. The roading and water assets belong to the Council If this amendment is approved our overall rates will likely increase.

JONO ERWOOD
QQUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?
No. Another cost to the rate payer. A sure-fire way to stop shoppers visiting Stratford and spending here.

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?
Use of Social Media. Whether to advertise, engage or pass on important information, the use of technology is the way forward. This is a two-way street where we may get more people responding to community questions that may well affect them.

QUESTION THREE: Why should someone vote for you?
I am committed to being a Councillor, having attended 100 per cent of meetings in my first term and having made a contribution at each one. I am keen to keep the rates down for all rate payers while ensuring our community assets and facilities are maintained and improved. I will advocate against amalgamation.

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?
Proposed residential subdivision. Lots of planning must be used when this decision is made. I think it is important for Stratford to have this in increase our population. Things to consider are: location, connection to services, possible further expansion, section size and cost to rate payer " if any.

RAWINIA HENDERSON
QUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?
While we need to generate ongoing revenue to support our ratepayers, it won't encourage economic growth if we always hit the same people in the pocket. Just trying to encourage people to shop here is a battle, let alone asking them to pay when they get out of their cars.

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?
Did not answer this question.

QUESTION THREE: Why should someone vote for you?
Because I am for the people!

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?
Did not answer this question.

ALAN JAMIESON
QUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?
No.

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?
A larger emphasis on developing the capacity of our people. This has the potential for huge flow on effect in economic development, efficiency and effectiveness, employment and well-being.

QUESTION THREE: Why should someone vote for you?
I come from a sound business background. I offer you Experience, ( two terms on council, current Deputy Mayor ) Honesty, and Integrity. I am not afraid to ask the hard questions and I will tackle the hard tasks on your behalf.

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?
The local Government Amendment Act. It could have drastic consequences for Stratford if it is passed in Government.

GRAHAM KELLY

QUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?
Hell no!

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?
I want to initiate a three-stage subdivision, for 200 fully serviced sections.

QUESTION THREE: Why should someone vote for you?
Because I say it as it is, I can't be bought, I have the greatest passion for Stratford, and have a commonsense approach. Having lived and run my business here I have the right empathy and attitude for the people.

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?
This pathetic attempt by the government to force amalgamation thus denying us our freedom to govern ourselves.

KEVIN O'BRIEN

QUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?
Definitely not. Stratford should be known as a friendly and convenient business centre with easy parking. I would be very happy if our parking warden didn't issue any tickets but realise they have a great part to play in educating our motorists and our parking laws.

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?
I would like to get the Council to investigate all possible avenues to raise income from sources other than rating, such as possible business enterprises as I feel in the future relying on rates could become too high a burden for our rate payers.

QUESTION THREE: Why should someone vote for you?
I have a lifetime experience in business both internationally and nationally operating out of a Stratford base with over 40 years' experience in roading, earthmoving and construction, including professional bridge building and tunnelling while also running a successful agriculture contracting business which is still operating very successfully and I identify with the rural community as a large-scale dry stock farmer.
Now being semi retired I have the time and passion for Council.

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?
Clearly keeping the governance of our local Council in local hands as at the moment there is no pressure to pursue amalgamation, but following the General Election it is bound to raise its ugly head again. We must do everything we can to prevent it happening.

JOHN SANDFORD

QUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?
Definitely not. That is an ace for us in the fact that people can come park freely and I think we should promote it more.

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?
I don't think we need to change anything. I think the council is functioning very well.

QUESTION THREE: Why should someone vote for you?
Because I have the passion and the drive and most importantly the time to give to the rate payers of Stratford. I make good common sense decisions with the best interest of my rate payers always.

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?
Government trying to take our core services off us and in that way forcing an amalgamation. We will fight it to the end.

KELVIN SQUIRE

QUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?
No; there is an issue for peak times which needs to be resolved through discussion with the Stratford Business Association and a change in driver expectation; hopefully the current review will go part way to addressing this issue however it will require a change in driver expectation.

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?
Review the ways in which we engage in transparent debate and engagement with our community.

QUESTION THREE: Why should someone vote for you?
I can't answer for "someone" other than to say that I will work hard to advance and support the continuing developmental path we as a district are on. No matter who is elected, the effectiveness of council is how they advance as a team.

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?
Delivering on the Strategic Plan and ensuring decisions are based on sound evidence and effective communication.

BRIAN TIPLER

QUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?
No.

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?
Contracts inspected and okayed before payment.

QUESTION THREE: Why should someone vote for you?
I will do my best to improve footpaths.

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?
Amalgamation.

GLORIA WEBBY

QUESTION ONE: Would you support installation of parking meters in Stratford?
No. Parking meters are a negative we can do without in our town. We are fortunate that there is ample parking within the main shopping centre, such as the War Memorial Hall car park.

QUESTION TWO: What one change would you to like to initiate in council?
As a first-time councillor, if elected, I would support and contribute to initiatives presently in operation

QUESTION THREE: Why should someone vote for you?
I am passionate about promoting Stratford as a safe, vibrant, healthy place to live. I am a positive, open-minded 'people person', fostering community spirit. I am proactive and progressive, forward-thinking and motivated to make a difference.

QUESTION FOUR: What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the council in the next three years?
Implementation of the Local Government Amendment Act in the near future will be a huge threat to Stratford Council's existence.

- Stratford Press

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