Cr Stuart Wilson: End of a rewarding journey

Published: 23 June 2022

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After four terms, 12 years, I have decided to retire from Council.

It is a not an easy decision to make. From being involved in all the decisions council makes, to being on the sidelines and reading on the internet or the newspaper which direction the Ashburton District Council is taking, is going to be a real change.

I have full confidence the citizens of the district will elect councillors who will have the best interests of everyone at heart.

When I was first elected in 2010, Councillors like Robin Kilworth and John Leadley, both with years of experience, were very important in guiding decisions that were in the best interests of the district. To have served on other organisations before becoming a councillor is a great asset.

New councillors like me came with lots of enthusiasm and full of ideas, which is wonderful, but to operate successfully we need a mixture of new and experienced to maintain continuity, which has been a hallmark of the Ashburton District Council.

When contemplating standing for council, candidates must realise that if they are going to make an impression on how the district operates, it will be a full commitment both in time and effort.

A full council meeting every two weeks is the tip of the iceberg, there are numerous workshops on subjects to help us look at all the options before us. When wanting submissions on the various policies we put out for comments, there is reading of between 100 and 400 pages of submissions from the public.

I don’t want to make it sound too daunting, but being a councillor demands a change of lifestyle; if you are to be really involved you are always viewed in public as a councillor.

The district council is fortunate to have a very competent CEO and staff, and as councillors we get to know how much effort they put in for our district’s wellbeing.

Being a member of the team is a wonderful experience. With a great mayor and a group of fellow councillors who become both colleagues and friends, we all look forward to attending meetings to debate and discuss the future of the district.

I thank the citizens of the district for giving me the opportunity to have had the privilege of being a district councillor.

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