Candidates wanted

 In Opinion

The deadline to file for municipal election is July 27. That’s only two weeks away, folks. 

Only two weeks left to gather 25 signatures and declare that you are willing to represent your fellow residents in our democratic system.  

It is a thankless job but somebody’s got to do it.

Reading reports, long meetings, phone calls from angry residents and low pay… Who wouldn’t want to sign up for that?

The crumby job description may not be the only reason people aren’t jumping at the chance to sit on council. Anyone who cares about politics has been watching the provincial race – and some are happy with the results but others are downright despondent (even the Conservatives are bemoaning last week’s announcement to cut school funding) – and everyone else is too busy planning trips to the beach to feel the allure of municipal politics.

Perhaps the new municipal election rules aren’t helping. The nomination period is shorter and there is the new requirement to collect signatures. 

Maybe people think the current council is doing an excellent job and, well, let’s just leave it in their capable hands. Or maybe it’s the opposite and people don’t want any part of it. 

Or is it that people are not willing to give of their free time? – It does seem to be a troubling trend in all sectors.

It’s most likely a combination of all of the above that stops people from participating in municipal politics, which is a shame, because the decisions made at the council table really do impact our daily lives and our quality of life, as much or more than decisions made at Queen’s Park and on Parliament Hill.

That’s why it’s kinda scary, but not totally surprising, that there hasn’t been much interest shown locally. Candidates aren’t clambering for seats by any means. In Clearview, two wards are without candidates altogether and the other candidates are unopposed (until this week when Ward 1 councillor Doug Measures announced he is running for mayor). In Mulmur, there are only three people going for three seats but there is a two-way race for both mayor and deputy mayor.

Other municipalities are having the same problem and even big cities aren’t seeing a lot of interested candidates.

There is still time. People have two weeks to get their paperwork in order and file for council. The deadline is at 2 p.m. on July 27.

Residents of Clearview Ward 1 and 2 need someone and it would be nice for the rest of the wards to have options. 

The all-candidates meetings are going to be pretty boring if they are but a platform for incumbents to defend their actions, unchallenged.

Hopefully there are people out there who are at least considering joining the race. To them we say, take your marks. The election is a chance to shake things up, raise the issues and set a path for the term ahead.

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