Time's up . . . Even mayors get parking tickets. Damon Odey smiles after being pinged by a Timaru parking officer in Timaru today. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

By Chris Tobin

Time’s up for Timaru mayor Damon Odey, who confirmed this afternoon he is not seeking re-election in this year’s local body election.
Mr Odey told The Courier that after 10 years in local government it was time to move on.
“There’s great interest out there and it’s time for others to get involved.

“The number of people being nominated is testament to our community having committed people.”
Asked whether his original proposal to sell Alpine Energy shares, in which he later changed his mind, was a factor in his decision, he said no.
“It was not a factor at all, I asked the hard question and worked through it accordingly.”
Mr Odey (48) received a public backlash for his proposal.
After public submissions were heard late last year the Timaru District Council voted unanimously not to sell the shares.
Mr Odey, Timaru’s mayor since 2013 after one term as a councillor, said he was pleased with what he had achieved with council.
“For a boatbuilder from Pleasant Point it’s been pretty awesome. I never had this on my radar.”
The highlight he said was getting to know the community; from meeting people dead-heading roses at the Timaru Botanic Gardens to sports groups and organisations.
He would not be returning to politics.
“I’ve still got business interests and I’m chairman of Parr & Co but I have nothing on my radar.
“The only thing I’ve planned is enjoying family time and building a deck at my home so my son and I can look over Caroline Bay this summer.”
The Courier spoke to Mr Odey as he came out of a meeting at the Landing Service Building.
During the time he was at the meeting, the meter where he had parked his car expired.
A parking enforcement officer issued him a parking ticket for $12.
The officer found also Mr Odey’s car registration had expired and he received another ticket.
Mr Odey later issued a statement in which he thanked his family for their support over three elections as well as the Timaru District Council chief executive and staff.
“We should all be positive and proud of our district’s positive tourism outlook, new and existing business growth across our diverse and productive economic sector, coupled with an amazing community, supported with outstanding education and health services.
“I believe at the upcoming election, we will see the Timaru district cast their votes to ensure we keep our district moving forward and will not want to go backwards, we need to look to the future and appreciate the only constant in this world is change.
“I wish all the candidates all the best, the work load is at times immense, the time commitments are demanding, but the rewards are just awesome.”

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