Taking up the torch

The time for municipal elections is drawing near, and while no one has yet stepped forward to join the race for mayor or as a council member, it won’t likely be long.

The elections will be held in November, and the sooner candidates get their packages from the district, the sooner they can kick off their campaigns.

The summer is coming to an end, and soon, school supplies will be placed neatly in desks, boats will be pulled from the water and swim suits will go back in the bottom drawer.

And election campaigns will be kicking off.

The time for municipal elections is drawing near, and while no one has yet stepped forward to join the race for mayor or as a council member, it won’t likely be long.

The elections will be held in November, and the sooner candidates get their packages from the district, the sooner they can kick off their campaigns.

With one councillor already resigned from her position, leaving one opening, and another having said she likely won’t run again, there should be at least two spots without an incumbent.

This is not a column to say one way or the other who should run, but I was quite excited recently when someone I would refer to as a younger member of the community said he was interested in becoming a councillor.

I think it is very exciting someone from a younger generation is engaged and inspired enough to get involved in the political life of their community. To me, this is a sign the community inspires people.

Now, while many people might find municipal politics terribly uninteresting, I actually find it surprisingly relevant.

While traditionally, municipalities did not have a whole lot of power in many situations, I think things have changed quite a bit over time.

Gradually, many responsibilities are being off-loaded onto local governments. This has probably been a great source of frustration and financial strain for municipalities struggling to take up the various reins they are being handed, but conversely, this gives local people a lot more control over their own community.

Now, while time is probably becoming a major factor, for councillors and mayors juggling full time work and their political roles, those who do it can now make a real impact in the decisions being made to shape their own community.

And what a community to do it in. The Fort is a growing community, full of promise, in a beautiful setting, full of people passionate about where they live.

While it also struggles with some very real problems, the possibilities are virtually endless. To lead over the long-term, a community in transition needs a vision, with direction and an eye for the potential of the area, without also ignoring the problems and without losing site of the greater potential for some short-term gain.

People who see the possibility locked under an underused waterfront with incredible sunsets, and have the dedication and perseverance to go after it.

Leaders who understand what gems they have in a ski hill like Murray Ridge — only minutes from downtown, a golf course next to an amazing lake and an outdoor music festival. These are things many communities don’t have one of, let alone all of the above, but they all need community support.

 

I can’t wait for the campaigns to begin and the visions to come forward, let the races  begin.