Any preconceptions that civic elections are dull should be put to rest this year.
Despite having the greatest impact on the electorate, local elections typically show one of the lowest voter turnouts.
That could change this year. But let’s hope it’s for the right reasons.
On the municipal side, we have two incumbent city councillors challenging Chilliwack’s incumbent mayor. Since only one can be the winner, two of the three won’t be around after the votes are counted.
On the school board side, three of the seven incumbent trustees say they won’t run for re-election. That means even if the remaining four win, the complexion of the board will change dramatically.
It’s been said many times (here and elsewhere) that exercising a vote should never be taken for granted. It may sound cliché, but what many of us ignore, others continue to fight and die for.
The process is not complicated. If people can’t find time during the 12-hour window on Saturday, Oct. 20, there are advance voting opportunities before that.
But voting is only part of it. Make your vote an informed choice. Do your research, then vote for the candidate who best answers your concerns and addresses your issues.
And there are plenty of issues that need to be addressed.
Is enough being spent on police and fire services? What’s being done to bring employment to the community? Are our roads and infrastructure keeping pace with our growth?
At the school board level, students are adjusting to an ambitious new grade configuration. They’re also coping with one of the most crowded jurisdictions in the province. Is there a better way we can lobby the provincial government for support? Is transportation being adequately addressed?
We can make our own list. The important thing is to remember what local politicians can and cannot do.
So do your research. Ask your questions. Assess the answers.
And above all, vote.
Complete coverage of Chilliwack’s municipal election can be found HERE.