Time to talk amalgamation
We know from the last two editions of The Echo and the appearance of early campaign signs and councillor mailings that we must soon endure yet another municipal election.
We already have access through the township website and The Echo to lots of information on all those intending to seek election and compete for one of the nine council positions.
No doubt the volume of mail inserts from these enthusiastic citizens will increase dramatically as we get closer to the October election date.
As I contemplate this process, repeated with regularity every four years, I cannot help but wonder what motivates someone to run for a municipal council seat, what they hope to accomplish and what each candidate intends to present as reasons why they should get our votes. Here it should be noted that voter turnout was about 42 per cent last time around (down from the prior election) and it will not be a surprise if the turnout is even lower in October.
I hope, during the coming months of the campaigns that we will hear some serious debate on how our elected council will make a difference to the lives of our residents, other than oversight of a continued increase in our taxes. There have to be good reasons to vote for a candidate and they cannot be just that they are all nice people with an interest in the community.
Perhaps it is also a time to talk about how the costs of so many layers of government could be reduced and the ever-growing burden of regulation on just about every aspect of our lives could be eased.
Perhaps also there should be serious dialogue on the amalgamation of smaller municipalities and broader County administration of the various services we need in our communities.
For me at least, the coming election raises the question as to the relevance and effectiveness of the council continuing to act on our behalf with less than a majority of the community giving their support. These are difficult questions but ones that warrant a serious discussion.