EDITORIAL: Shaping our community

Nomination packages for municipal elections have been returned, and now we get to know our candidates before making the decision of who will represent us.

Two important positions, the Mayor of the Town of Golden, and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area A director, will seemingly remain the same as they have for the past four years. Only one candidate in each position handed in their nomination packages. Ron Oszust, the Mayor of Golden for the past four years won’t have to vacate from Town Hall, and Karen Cathcart, who has been the Area A director, will continue to work with rural residents to ensure their voices are heard.

So this means we get to focus entirely on town council and who we want to represent us in chambers. A handful of the candidates running for town council have done this before. There are two newcomers to the table, putting their names in to represent us.

Over the next month, we will decide who best suits the needs and values in our community. Some people may be thinking at this time of year that they have no idea what council does or who the people are that are running for it, or what these people even believe in or want to achieve, but over the next few weeks we can expect to hear from these people.

And, it is important to remember, that while someone says they want to change the world, there is only so much that is achievable by one council member. Everything in town council is voted for or against by the group, so we need a well-rounded and educated council to guide the town in the direction we want to see. Chances are, not one single person will be able to move mountains. So, if someone is boasting about how they will cut taxes, or change service fees, make sure we are asking the right questions. If taxes are cut, what services will be cut? If service fees are changing, will we see an increase in programs or a decrease? It may sound mundane, but these are the important issues in our community. Without ensuring all the boxes are ticked off, we can have failing and outdated infrastructure that prevents us from flushing our toilets properly, or being able to push a stroller down the street on nice pavement.

We will be asking questions of the candidates over the next month. Be sure to pay attention to what everyone is saying, and pick a council that best represents what you want from your community. There are many services that are required to run, like water, sewer, garbage disposal, parks and recreation, outdoor spaces, and more. We live in a vibrant place with many different types of people, and we will need unique individuals to represent us the best.

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