I always take things I read in the media with a grain of salt, as I'm aware the primary purpose of news media is to sell advertising, no matter how much they plead noble intent. The reality is noble intent doesn't pay the bills. With this in mind I was rather bemused to see the article in the Blenheim Sun on August 25 about mayoral candidate Jamie Arbuckle.
If the Sun has reported accurately, some of Mr Arbuckle's statements suggest he needs to take a course in basic human relationships. Rubbishing council staff, many of whom are very hard working, and some with years of experience is no way to maintain staff morale. By all means there's a need to look at increased efficiencies, but the people who will best know how these can be achieved will be people who work in council. Some encouragement and leadership may needed to get council staff to 'think outside the square', but at the end of the day, only a team effort is going to result in a more efficient council.
Going straight for the top job with no prior experience in council and shooting from the lip without doing some serious research is a dangerous position to take. All credit to Mr Arbuckle for standing up and offering a challenge to Mayor Sowman if he believes he has something better to offer, but it takes some serious homework and not just self-righteous indignation to be able to offer workable alternatives to the status quo.
Of course the Sun may have reported Mr Arbuckle's statements in a way he didn't intend, in which case it is to be hoped that there will be opportunties for Mayor Sowman and Mr Arbuckle to each propose their solutions to issues so that the public can make an informed choice as to whom is most suitable to lead Marlborough for the next three years.