Open forums next step for winners

Now that municipal councils and school boards have been elected for the next four years, it’s time to move forward as elected officials

Now that municipal councils and school boards have been elected for the next four years, it’s time to move forward as elected officials and residents.

Like many elections at all levels, results of Monday’s vote not surprisingly produced a few upsets. Turnover and new blood is always healthy for councils and school boards.

That’s exactly how the vote turned out in the Town of Stettler, County of Stettler and in Clearview School, with half of the members new around the table.

Two of the three newcomers on county council are former councillors, which should also provide a smooth transition.

Considering that many of those re-elected may well be in their final term, it will also provide for good training ground to prepare for the next mayor, reeve or school board chair.

A complete overhaul of council or school board can cause some issues, as newcomers delve into a deep learning curve.

Take the time to congratulate all the winners in your community and thank those unsuccessful incumbents for their service  to the community.

Since the terms have been extended from three years, it would be beneficial for the new councils and school boards to stage open forums to present their plans and priorities to their communities and for citizens to express their views and suggestions to progressively build the future to strengthen the communities.

When elected officials and residents work together with lines of communication wide open, that can to a long way to build trust and confidence in councils and school boards.

Perhaps the early weeks of the new year would be an ideal time for such an open house or forum, after the new councils and school boards have settled in with new personnel and portfolios.

Dialogue is definitely a strong pillar in the democratic process.

Especially where no elections or all-candidates meetings were held, the community discussion will help create a solid foundation for the new terms for councils and school boards.

Several issues and priorities were raised by candidates and voters in the Town of Stettler, County of Stettler and Clearview School Division during meet-the-candidates forums last week.

Local councils and school boards are designed to serve their communities and can only grow stronger with support from their constituents.

— Froese’n Time



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