In just over six weeks, about one fifth of eligible voters will likely head to the polls to elect their respective municipal councils for the next four years.
Abysmal turnout aside, the outcome will determine a lot. Local councils have a lot of authority that affect the everyday lives of citizens. Those aggravating roadworks affecting your morning commute? They were discussed three years ago at municipal hall and spurred on by a federal government infrastructure grant. The mega-project bulldozing your neighbours’ houses? You had your chance to raise a stink and oppose it last year, but you decided not to waste a sunny summer evening at a public hearing.
Saanich’s eight incumbent councillors and Mayor Frank Leonard will soon begin pushing hard on the campaign trail. They’ll be challenged by new faces who will equally need to justify why they deserve your vote and trust.
As the campaign gets underway, the News wants to hear from Saanichites about the issues that matter to you. Don’t slip into autopilot the next time you see a councillor handing out pamphlets. Instead, challenge them on the region’s botched secondary sewage treatment project, amalgamation, property tax rates, municipal spending, local climate change initiatives or anything else that makes you passionate about your hometown.
The editorial staff at the News pride ourselves on highlighting the many issues that bubble up at municipal hall by informing you of their potential consequences. We’re here to hold public representatives to account for their decisions.
But the role played by a community newspaper is deficient without an engaged electorate. So we’re asking you to help.
Think about the most pressing issues confronting Saanich, then write them down and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to know what matters to you, so we can do our job and get the answers you need to make your vote count.