A pleased Clint Baddeley was this week looking forward to his fourth three-year stint as Raglan ward councillor after attracting a strong vote of confidence in local elections.
Preliminary results published only hours after voting closed at noon last Saturday showed Clint a clear winner in the two-way tussle for the seat, with 62 per cent of votes cast. He received 656 votes, 256 more than challenger Alan Vink was able to muster with his promise of a “fresh perspective” on Raglan issues.
“It was a clear majority, people knew what they were voting for … yes, it’s pleasing,” Clint told the Chronicle.
He was not sure if it was his biggest majority but shied away from comparisons with the voting last time around, where he was only 23 votes clear of the closest of his three challengers for the ward seat. “It was different last time because I was running for mayor as well and so it split my vote,” he said.
Clint agreed the outcome was partly a yes vote to his more easily identifiable governance experience on the likes of Trust Waikato, Wintec and Waikato District Council. He felt his rival couldn’t really say exactly what his experience was, with positions held not so recognisable to the general public.
While he steered clear of commenting on the water metering issue which emerged late in the voting period, Clint did feel the election race was “a bit dirtier than in the past”. But he added that was [the nature of] politics even though he didn’t himself “play games”.
Alan Vink meanwhile said he was “obviously disappointed” with the result and didn’t know if he’d try again for the Raglan ward seat. On whether he was now eyeing the community board chairman’s job, after serving as deputy chair for the past three years, he said that would depend on the new board “but I’m not closed to the idea”.
He saw no problems working with Clint if he was elected community board chairman. “The campaign period is over, he’s won, it’s time to move on.”
For his part Clint was pleased that Allan Sanson had been returned as Waikato district mayor, even though he fought him for the mayoralty in 2010. Clint said he worked well with Allan “and he gave me the senior chair
Clint rejected any suggestion he might seek the deputy mayoralty. “I’ve had my stint, I get more challenge and fulfilment in the chair’s role,” he said, pointing out the strategy and finance committee’s work influenced both the economic and social development of Raglan.
Clint saw some of his main goals for the new term as retaining services the council provided for Raglan, keeping rates down, supporting tourism and trying to encourage innovative people to work their businesses from home.
He said he’d “really like to tidy up” the green area of Wi Neera Street to provide a better linkage between the Kopua footbridge and the CBD. There was also a 10-year plan to be reviewed in a couple of years.
Overall he would work to keep Raglan a vibrant community, and to continue to make the town “the destination it is” while at the same time being aware of its unique character. “My job is to keep it that way – there’s no place like Raglan,” he said.