Fate has smiled upon you … a good omen for the new year!

Soon, you will have the opportunity to redeem an unfortunate vote you cast the last time Hastings Councillors dealt with the matter of Ocean Beach.

You and I discussed the incident at some length during the campaign season, and you insisted that your intentions were pure, if clumsily acted upon. Others have not been nearly as generous in their interpretation of events. Either way, a more restrictive Council position on Ocean Beach development lost by one vote.

But that’s water over the dam.

I know you will want to seize the new opportunity coming up to set things right.

Why am I so confident? Because here is what you said in responding to the Making Waves candidates’ survey during your re-election campaign …

“I still feel strongly that Ocean Beach should be protected for future generations. The protection of the Haupouri flats, if this happens, is a good start but it is a compromise. We should have the courage and commitment to make a serious stand on this issue.”

What didn’t you achieve last term that you would have liked to have achieved?
The protection of Ocean Beach

What happened in the past term that you really disagreed with?
The outcome, or lack of outcome, following the hearing of Ocean Beach submissions.

We take you at your word.

Mick Lester will be leading the effort to secure a more restrictive Council position on Ocean Beach development. Defenders of Ocean Beach expect him to propose the toughest possible stance. No parliamentary distractions will be required. It’s pretty straightforward this time around …

Your vote with Mick will be a good vote. Your vote against Mick would be a terribly unfortunate one.
(I would need to refresh myself with Dante to offer a suitable image of the opposite of redemption.)

There’s no margin of error. No room for misinterpretation. And no marking on the curve.

Ocean Beach versus Lowetown.

But just think of the rewards of redemption!

I’m writing this as an open letter because I’m hoping you will respond publicly. BayBuzz will be happy to publish your reply.

So many sleepless nights can be avoided over the next few weeks if you can tell environmentalists now — rather than keeping us in suspense — that we can indeed count on your vote as a staunch defender of Ocean Beach.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Tom

P.S. I’m sure space can be made in the Yule-Lester victory photo for one more smiling face!

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