At the least, get out to vote on Oct. 21

Local government election campaigns are underway and it’s time for voters to get fully engaged in helping shape the future ...

Local government election campaigns are underway and it’s time for voters to get fully engaged in helping shape the future of their communities.

Municipal councils and school boards are the government closest to citizens, and they make decisions that affect residents the most.

So it’s vital that voters get active in the election process.

With all the negativity of provincial and federal governments, local governments such as municipal councils and school boards have the reputation of being the most accessible and easiest for citizens to work with.

The “local” elected officials are committed to make their community — your community — a better place to live, working in positive and productive ways with residents as partners. They don’t necessarily have a hidden agenda and party lines to tow.

In small communities, the elected official is familiar and someone that’s easily approachable.

Now that the names on the ballot have been confirmed, eligible electors are urged to exercise their democratic right and vote wisely to elect municipal councils and school boards for the next four years.

First of all, mark Oct. 21 as voting day and remember that proof of identification will be required to vote, even if the election officers know who you are.

No identification means no ballot.

In order to make wise choices, get to know the candidates and the platforms.

What candidate has the best vision for the next four years and beyond, with the best ideas to advance the community?

While many incumbents have the experience, do they appear to still be quality candidates, or is it time to bring on new candidates with fresh ideas and renewed energy.

Where council members and school trustees have already served more than one term, I suspect that this will be their final election.

As a result, it might be good time to start bringing up a quality candidate to become the next mayor, reeve or school board chair during this term.

With the longer terms, an elected official will be effective and strongest for two terms — eight years.

So if most incumbents on council or school board are returned, the next election in 2017 might well see sweeping changes.

Considering that, it’s probably better to have some new faces around the table.

Talk about the election and candidates with your family, friends and neighbours. Attend an all-candidates forum in your community. Read the candidate profiles in this community newspaper.

If you don’t vote, don’t complain after the election.

— Froese’n Time