Kelvin Clout looks forward to continuing to serve
On Saturday night following the election progress results being announced, Kelvin and Kathryn Clout opened their home to supporters, family and friends, who had all hoped he would win the Tauranga mayoralty.
“Obviously I'm disappointed I didn't get the top job,” says Kelvin. “I know I would make a very good mayor but maybe that's for another day.
“I felt that I ran a really strong and positive campaign, and that I kept out of the gutter. There was a bit of dirty politics going on and I kept out of that.
“Congratulations to Tenby for getting the top job and I'll work with him in whatever capacity he chooses.
“Also commiserations to Greg who served the city well for three years, and of course prior to that.”
Kelvin is looking forward to continuing to serve Tauranga city on council.
“I’m disappointed, but of course, I'm delighted that I'm back on council. I love the city and I love the ability to serve the city on council particularly when we're having to grapple with such big issues. I think I've got a lot to bring to the table and will continue to do that.”
Kelvin is fascinated to see the influx of new councillors.
“You've got five of the existing councillors and six new ones counting the mayor.
“I think it’s a good mix of experience and new blood coming in. I think it's important to have the mix because imagine if all 11 went - that would be just untenable.
“I like some of the youthfulness and drive of the new councillors that are coming on board. We’ve got three woman which is more than the previous Council, so that's heading in the right direction.
“I think every one of those new councillors brings a new energy and obviously they'll all have their own particular agendas they’d love to see furthered. The challenge of course is to bring all those varied agendas together and come to some commonality about where we want to head as a council and city.”
Kelvin also had some of his own goals and ideas he wanted to see furthered through his terms as deputy mayor.
“One of the things I found in the last six years of being on council is that we did not advance our relationship with tangata whenua particularly at all.
“I think we were mucking around with some of our decisions, whether it’s the right of first refusal or 11 Mission Street, we just weren’t united or decisive and I don't think that did our relationship any good. So I want to see much more positive and decisive decisions coming through council now, so we actually make some forward progress together with tangata whenua. So that's the first thing I really want to see.
“Obviously we need to keep strong on our roading and traffic solutions, with NZTA particularly. And then I'm really keen to make sure that our city plan changes come through to make it easier for residential intensification - to build up rather than build out.
“And I want to make sure that we engage with our community in a much more meaningful way because clearly with the last council, we had a few projects that were falling short of their objectives, primarily because we didn't listen to our community as we really should have.”
“I've always prided myself on finding out what the community does want. Of course, it's not always a simple case of majority rules like in the case of the museum debate. We had the referendum and 41 percent of the people wanted a museum, even at the more expensive level.
“I believe that if we can get the cost down to a much more palatable figure then the numbers supporting it will increase and I'd like to see that discussion continue into the future.”
Kelvin was third in the mayoral race with 8487 votes, 3799 votes behind Greg Brownless (12286) and 8453 votes behind Tenby Powell (16940). He was the highest polling ‘At Large’ candidate with 7765 votes.