Take time to vote

Voters have a choice between six committed individuals who hope to earn a seat on the Chilliwack Board of Education.

Chilliwack’s participation rate in the last municipal election was hardly inspiring.

In fact, voter turn out was estimated to be the second lowest of all the cities, towns, villages and districts in B.C.

It was estimated that only three of every 20 eligible voters in Chilliwack bothered to vote.

This Saturday, let’s try to do better.

Voters have a choice between six committed individuals who hope to earn a seat on the Chilliwack Board of Education. The byelection aims to fill the spot left vacant by the retirement of Louise Piper.

There will be challenges in getting that vote out.

The poor turnout in 2011 can be attributed (in part) to the absence of a challenger for mayor, which removed some of the drama.

In the continuum of voter popularity, the mayor’s race usually attracts the most attention; school trustees, the least.

But it shouldn’t be that way. School trustees play an important role in building a stronger community. True, there are limits on what they can achieve, given that roughly 80 per cent of their budget is tied to salaries they have no control over.

But there are still important contributions trustees can make to the shape and flavour of the educational community we want.

That ability should interest more than just parents of school aged children. We all pay taxes, but more importantly, we all live in a world shaped by the products of our schools. Where we’ll be in the future begins in the classroom today.

Who to vote for is a personal choice. The Chilliwack Progress has compiled the series of question-and-answers that we’ve posed to the candidates over the past few weeks and posted on our website.

Take a look. Give it some thought.

But most importantly, this Saturday take a few minutes to cast your ballot at one of the four voting locations. The polls are open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.