Kerry and I live in Weston with our children Ryan (14) and Alex (10) and I have 3 adult children – Nicole, Jessica & Richard. I have a self-employed business background in photography, horticulture and financial planning. Community involvement includes membership of the Weston Progress League, the Positive Ageing Forum committee, Youth Council liaison, a trustee of Sport Otago and the Otago Community Trust; I coach basketball and play football for Meadowbank. I’m experienced with three terms on Council, (currently Deputy Mayor) and have been a part of numerous successful projects including Careers Expo, Christmas decorations, economic development initiatives and the Harbour. I’m proactive, effective & pragmatic. As Mayor, I’ll work for you to bring affordable progress across our exceptional district, to improve lifestyle quality, push for opportunities for our young people and improve value for rates. Our community needs positive leadership and a hands-on Mayor – I will give you that.
Top 5 Issues
- Growth: We need population growth if we are serious about making rates more affordable. This means developing the proposedc industrial park north of Oamaru and ensuring new businesses are encouraged to come to Waitaki.
- Council/community relationship: I want to create a better relationship between the council and the community. The council is seen all too often as a handbrake. This needs to change to a better focus on customer service and on the result, not the process.
- Looking after our older citizens: We have a large retired community within our population. I want to introduce free parking for over 75s - a small gesture with low cost, but one which will give great benefit particularly to those who have difficulty getting around.
- Rating review: I will promote a review of the policy which determines who pays for what. This was last done 8 years ago and is overdue for review. Fairness is important and this is something I will strive for with the new council.
- Alps to Ocean Cycleway: I am 100% behind this project. It is the opportunity to build one of the top 3 cycleways in New Zealand and it will benefit a wide range of people. It creates great opportunities for people along the trail to develop businesses and increase employment.
Authorised by Gary Kircher of 1 CRD, Oamaru
Questions answered by Gary Kircher
Gary Kircher's Reply
Thanks for the question. I\'m proud of the Oamaru Hospital and what it already does. As a community-owned facility I do believe we have maintained a wider range of services than we otherwise would have however I would like to see more. Some people have commented that the hospital is a glorified first-aid centre which is unfair on the skilled staff we have there. The fact that we have a radiography service many hospitals are envious of is another indicator of its capabilities. Overall, I want to see as many services as possible, but realise this has to be measured against the cost and the availability of services in Dunedin. I\'m very keen to work with the board and staff to lobby for the maintenance and improvement of services required by our community.
Thanks, Gary.check out other candidate's answers