Summerlanders will go to the polls on Saturday to elect the municipal government for the next three years.
If past elections are any indication, fewer than half of all eligible voters will bother to vote.
This degree of apathy is disturbing but hardly surprising. For many years, municipal elections have been seen as unimportant, even though the decisions made at the council table will directly affect the day-to-day lives of everyone who lives here.
Zoning and development applications, capital projects and bylaws all fall under council’s mandate. Council decisions also affect property tax rates.
In the weeks leading up to the election, the Summerland Review has worked to present information on all the candidates. Each of the candidates answered questions about their views on several important issues. Last week’s Review also included coverage of the public forum.
Some candidates contacted the Review before nominations had closed to explain why they were running and in those cases, this paper also ran stories about their candidacy declarations.
Every effort has been made to give the voters the information needed to make informed decisions.
While this paper has worked to present the various candidate platforms, questions about a candidate’s character are questions which cannot be answered by any news outlet.
Each of the six candidates elected, along with Mayor Janice Perrino who is in by acclamation, will play a vital role in Summerland’s future.
At the same time, decisions are made by council as a whole, not by any one member.
Summerlanders have often been passionate about local politics, but passion by itself is not enough.
It is important to get out and vote in this election.
Every vote matters.