Ex-mayor makes run for council
Former Waimate mayor David Owen is making another run for a seat on the district council.
Owen first entered the council in 1977, then successfully ran for mayor in 1983, holding the position for seven terms, until 2004.
He has recently been outspoken, and appealed to the Ombudsman last month to tackle a "dictatorial" Waimate District Council.
His complaint came after the council refused to release copies of completed local body election nomination forms.
Owen claimed the council was constantly in serious trouble through management decisions without satisfactory communication with its ratepayers.
Owen himself has courted controversy over the years.
In 2011, he was reprimanded for misconduct as a real estate agent.
In a decision issued by the Real Estate Agents Authority, it said he had not acted in good faith when he introduced buyers to a Makikihi property.
As mayor, he was applauded for his desire to get on and get the job done, his fairness, and ability to look at both sides of an argument.
Yesterday, Owen said he wanted to get the council on an even keel again.
"The mess that is before us cannot continue."
He referred to the legal battle between local businessman Keith Williams and the council as an example.
"There's things happenings in Waimate that are concerning; I'm sure there is a shake-up needed there."
He said there would be a whole new set of challenges once the new council came on board.
"Councillors are meant to stay on the bridge and not get down into the engine room," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News