Western Bay of Plenty District Council Mayor Ross Paterson has today announced he will re-stand in this year’s local body elections.
“Since becoming mayor four-and-a-half years ago, I have accepted fully that the Council must act equally for the betterment of all its communities.
WBOPDC Mayor Ross Paterson will re-stand in this year’s local body elections.
“As a ward councillor it is easy to feel driven to promote the needs of your own constituents, but as mayor I have learned to act in everyone’s best interests.”
Ross won the by-election following the death of previous Mayor Graeme Weld in November 2008. He almost eight years as deputy mayor to Graeme who was re-elected unopposed for his final term. Ross was re-elected unopposed in 2010.
“There is change coming in local government, most likely in the form of central government legislation, and it will take a strong, experienced hand to steer the Western Bay through the process successfully,” says Ross.
“We have an exceptional lifestyle here, and I will do everything I can to make sure it is not jeopardised by unnecessary change.”
Ross is confident the team he leads at Council has the expertise and positivity needed to handle change.
“We are in good shape in economic terms and our work within our communities has been outstanding.
“We must continue to strip out future capital costs to ease the financial demands on our ratepayers and keep the lid on our debt level. In the past two years we have removed $2.5 million of costs. Staff numbers were trimmed from 189 to 139.”
The Council saved another $1million by bringing its water and wastewater utilities services back in-house, along with 20 personnel employed by the contractor.
“Our prudent management in difficult financial times means we are now able to react positively to initiatives for sustainable economic development for the benefit of all our communities. There is a real sense that things are starting to move again, and I will continue to encourage economic development that doesn’t impact on our environmental sustainability.
“We have shown that we are a listening council, and our communities have contributed to the decisions we have made. As examples, the Council has invested $60,000 in Te Puke Edge to foster growth, and we are also working closely with Katch Katikati to see how we can advance their activities. Local input has also helped shape the stormwater infrastructure at Waihi Beach.
“I take great satisfaction that all of our communities can see real change in their midst – improvements in which they all had a say.”
Ross is not standing as a Kaimai Ward councillor. He has business and farming interests and lives at Pahoia with his wife Robyn, who is a Community Magistrate at Tauranga District Court. They have raised three children and have nine grandchildren, having been ratepayers in the district for more than 41 years.
“We love the Western Bay. It’s a fabulous place to bring up a family and it offers such a rich variety of opportunities. I’m glad that this Council can be a facilitator for economic growth while enhancing our special way of life in the Western Bay.”