Corriedale by-election to cost $19,000

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Mayor Gary Kircher has questioned the price of democracy on his Facebook page now that two nominations have been received in the Corriedale by-election.

Mr Kircher pointed out that if there was one candidate standing, the cost of the by-election would be $2500.

Now that two candidates were standing, the cost escalated to $19,000, he said.

“In this case when many would agree that there is a clear favourite, I think it is a shame that so much public money will be spent to confirm what we already know,” Mr Kircher said on his Facebook page.

“My belief is that it is not the best use of ratepayer money … but that is the cost of democracy.”

Following his Facebook comments, Mr Kircher said he wanted to let people know what their rate money was spent on.

He said he fully acknowledged that this was the price of democracy and with democracy came rights.

“It is the right of any qualifying person to stand for elected positions and I am not stating who should stand or who shouldn’t.”

One candidate was the highest polling candidate for the Corriedale Ward in the last election and the other candidate was the lowest and second-lowest polling candidate for the Oamaru Ward in the past two elections.

Nominations closed on July 21 and the two nominees are Guy Percival and John (Jock) Howie. The by-election will take place on September 17.

By LINDA MCCARTHY