Marlborough’s newly elected mayor has pledged to make public communication key as he gets set to start his second term.
John Leggett has emerged victorious by a landslide victory of about 3000 votes.
And he has been quick to make assurances that concerns raised by the public throughout the election process will be addressed.
Speaking from his Blenheim home shortly after his win was announced, mayor Leggett says he is “very happy” to have been chosen again.
He also paid credit to his opponent and re-elected councilor, Jamie Arbuckle.
“Jamie came out of the starting blocks very well and campaigned well. I always knew it was going to be a battle to get out there.
“It’s been a bit of a nervous wait, especially when it got to 2pm and there was no phone call. I began to think no news was bad news,” he says.
It was down to the wire today as last-minute voters cast their ballot just before the cutoff point of 12 noon.
Mayor Leggett celebrated on Saturday night with partner Anne Best at Biddy Kate’s Irish Bar, owned by friend and former deputy mayor Terry Sloan.
He was also joined by some council colleagues.
“She’s been a fantastic support, far and away the best supporter I have,” says John.
He also revealed the election has shown him the importance of public engagement.
“The election process always brings out good public engagement as people put down issues they want us to address- a lot of which we are.
“One thing we need to do better is communicate and let people know what we’ve got on the agenda,” he says.
Jamie Arbuckle missed out on his third try at taking out the top spot.
He says he was “really disappointed” not to take the council’s top spot and ruled out a future bid.
“We put a lot of effort into the mayoralty this time. I’m personally disappointed; I thought we had the numbers.
“It was our third attempt and last attempt – we tried our best,” he says.
Candidates Thelma Sowman, wife of former mayor Alistair Sowman, and David Croad have been successful in their bid to take up councillor posts.
They will be a welcome addition, says mayor Leggett.
“There have to be vacancies to keep the way clear for new people coming in, that’s a good thing we need new, blood and good people.”