The votes are in, and Sharlene Druyven has just been announced as the newest member on the Franklin Local Board.
While many may recognise Sharlene as the Waiuku Town Manager, she has now joined Brendon Crompton on the Waiuku Subdivision.
This is the first time the Waiuku resident has stood for Local Body elections and she topped the pole with an astounding 2726 votes.
‘I have been completely overwhelmed by the support I have received. I didn’t campaign heavily, as I thought what I had achieved over the last five years as Town Manager was evidence enough. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me and offered kind messages and well wishes. It is great to see so many have faith in me.”
While Sharlene is yet to be sworn in, she has just received her agenda, and says she can’t wait to sink her teeth into up and coming community projects.
“It is going to be a massive learning curve. The Local Board and Jill Naysmith have given me fantastic advice. Jill has explained to me what to expect over the next few weeks, and has forewarned that I won’t be able to please everyone. I believe that if you have a love for your community, you are already halfway there.”
Several of the projects in the area that Sharlene is passionate about are the new public transport services and the implement of waste water care.
“Both mean growth for our town. We need to get into the mind set of using the new bus services and not be frightened of it, as we haven’t really had a public transport system in Waiuku. I am also looking forward to advocating for accountability of the services and jobs done around the town.”
Sharlene is also a firm believer that local people should be completing jobs around the area, rather than major contractors from out of town.
“We really do need to push that local businesses can complete local jobs—they are more than capable and I am a great believer that the workmanship is of a higher standard.”
However, the million dollar question for Sharlene is how is she going to differentiate her role as Waiuku Town Manager from being a member of the Local Board?
“While I am in my office at the Information Centre, it is under the Waiuku Business and Development Association hat. We are currently in the process of organising clinics in the area, so that the community can approach me with concerns and issues under the local board role.”
Sharlene said that there are several towns whose managers are also members of the local board, and will be looking into how they keep the roles separate from each other.
“It will be a fine balance, but I am sure it is very achievable. Right now, I need to learn to walk in my new role before I can run. I am very excited and come January I hope to hit the ground running.”