Carterton by-election candidates Grant Pittams, Mike Osborne, and Dale Williams at Tuesday night’s debate. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

Budget management, climate change, and a potential rift within Carterton District Council were the hot topics raised at the Times-Age’s Carterton by-election candidates debate on Tuesday night.

The debate was emceed by former Carterton mayor Ron Mark.

To fill the vacancy left by councillor Steffan Bertram’s resignation, residents would soon need to select one of three candidates: Grant Pittams, Dale Williams, or Mike Osborne.

“I think you’ve got a daunting task on your hands,” Mark told the crowd.

Each candidate brought a particular set of skills to the table: Pittams in process and procedures, Williams in local government, and Osborne in business.

Pittams described the council as being in a “storming phase”, with members fractured into groups. He said whichever candidate was successful would need to support the mayor to deliver strong leadership.

“I’m someone who gets the job done,” Pittams said.

Williams wanted to be involved in appointing a new chief executive. He said he already knew Carterton’s councillors individually and also had contacts around New Zealand.

“Don’t underestimate the power of relationships,” he said.

Osborne said he was known to the community as a “council bother”, having made submissions on plans for many years. He would seek to reduce the distance between the council and residents.

“You need to know where your money is spent,” Osborne said.



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