Let's keep the ideas flowing for election

By Andrew Bonallack

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AT LAST, we get the promise of a mayoral debate.

Well, perhaps 'debate' is possibly too strong a term. This isn't a Democrat versus Republican contest in the state of Ohio. But Masterton Rotary has stepped up to provide a 'meet the candidates' platform for the three Masterton mayoral candidates and three regional council candidates to speak to the public on their issues and policies.

Which would be good for Masterton, because right now most of the energy seems to be contained down in South Wairarapa. The proposed land swap for the purposes of creating a supermarket and potential town square in Featherston has sparked some decent argument. I've even seen our first actual press release, from a candidate in Greytown. He was ranting at me about my policy of not having politicking in letters to the editor, but he assures me it's a press release. At least there's some passion down south.

It seems to me that either candidates are feeling self-assured about being re-elected, at a loss to come up with anything to debate, or are too shy to put themselves out there.

We did ask for issues in our round of questions, and we are working on stories that reflect those. But I hope that series of questions didn't exhaust the candidates. The Midweek paper will be asking questions of candidates shortly, and those answers end up in most people's mailboxes.

Please don't be shy about sending us in a press release on an issue you think should be debated. I know it can seem tacky to jump on a bandwagon, or a soapbox, and start making noise. I know that there's an element of self interest for the Times-Age as well, because vigorous candidates are good for column centimetres.

But the public has plenty of appetite to hear more from people who are going to represent our collective will in what the district needs and wants.

For newcomers who want to stand, there must have been a sense in your minds that the time was right for you. But you probably also have an idea of how you'd do things better if you got the chance. Readers, what are some of your wishes? And candidates, what's on your to-do list after October?

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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