Stratford Racing Club president John Gray is standing for Stratford District Council.

John, who lives in Stratford with his partner and three children, says sustainable rates are important for the community.

"A lot of councils around New Zealand are going in a dangerous direction with their rates. They aren't being strategic. I want to make sure Stratford rates remain sustainable for people."

The decision to stand, he says, was influenced by a few things.

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"I am obviously passionate about our racecourse here, there is the new pool being developed by council, conversations around the A&P Showgrounds. Standing for council gives me the opportunity to be part of the conversation, and to help direct the future of the town."

Stratford, says John, is under-rated.

"I think people need to give Stratford the respect it deserves. There are lots of opportunities for growth in this town, and I want to see that growth happen."

With governance experience from his roles on various committees as well as the racing club, John says he believes he can represent his community well.

John says he wants to be part of the decision making around the future of the public pool in Stratford.

"I am definitely supportive of a new pool being built, I think it would be good for the town, and something council has a great opportunity to really develop well."

The recent subdivision shows people want to live in the town, he says.

"But there are a few things Stratford still needs in order to stay on the map, to be a place where people visit, as well as work or live. There are a couple of projects I would like to see go ahead in the town, that would be good for the district as a whole."

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The racecourse, says John, is something the town needs to keep.

"We've lost the race day right now, but I think the racecourse is important to the
community."

John is standing for a seat in the Urban ward. In total there are six urban seats and four rural ones.

Nominations close this week.

To be eligible to stand you need to be a New Zealand citizen, over 18 years of age and on the electoral roll. Anyone wishing to stand as an elected member must be nominated by two people enrolled in the district or ward you intend to stand, and pay a deposit of $200.

Nomination forms are available on council's website or from council's Service Centre on Miranda St. Nominations close at noon on Friday, August 16.