Councillors coy on election intentions

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Election year is under way but many of the city’s councillors are keeping quiet on their intentions come October.

Nelson Weekly

asked each of the region’s 12 councillors what their plans were in 2013. Four said they were standing again, two said they weren’t and five replied saying they would wait and see.

Mayor Aldo Miccio said he would wait until Easter to make an announcement on whether he will run or not, but it’s understood he will seek re-election.

Aldo’s top rival for the job in 2010 was current councillor and former deputy mayor Rachel Reese, she told the Weekly that it was “a bit early to start election campaigns” but would make her intentions clear later in the year. “The public don’t need seven months of politicians blowing their own trumpets.”

Ian Barker confirmed he will stand again this year and when quizzed if that was in his current role as a councillor or for mayor, said: “It’s open”.

Eric Davy, Kate Fulton and Paul Matheson all signalled their intentions to reclaim their spots around the council table saying they still had a lot to offer. While the long-serving Gail Collingwood and current deputy mayor Ali Boswijk have said they would not be seeking re-election. Gail told the Weekly it’s time for her to move on.

“I will have served the Nelson community for six terms [18 years] and it is time for me to stand down and for others to work though the local body governance process.”

Among those undecided were Pete Rainey, Derek Shaw and Jeff Rackley all saying they would make a final decision within the next few months. Veteran councillor Mike Ward said he “probably will” stand again.

Ruth Copeland was unable to be contacted.

Rachel says she would encourage anyone with the right qualities to stand for council and she’d be happy to talk to them about the role. “Nelson needs people sitting at that table who understand good governance. We need can-do positive people with a head for responsible spending. We need people who recognise that they are in the role to promote Nelson, not themselves. We need people who understand that the job of politicians is not simply to rubberstamp staff advice. It is to exercise critical judgement.”