In a democracy, one of the saddest complaints is from those who believe they have no voice, no input into the decision-making process.
This complaint is repeatedly made about the federal government, the provincial government and Summerland’s municipal government.
At times, there have been reasons for this level of frustration. Some governments and some leaders have acted with extreme arrogance and as a result, the voters did not believe they had much say if any in the decision-making process.
However, voters also have a responsibility to get involved. In the last municipal election, just 36.1 per cent of voters cast ballots. In the last federal election, voter turnout was 62.69 per cent.
This means vast numbers are not involved in decisions which affect them directly.
A survey, which has been sent out by the municipality to 1,000 homes in Summerland, is intended to get some feedback from the public.
The results of the survey will be used to identify what Summerlanders see as the priorities for the next few years and the direction they would like the community to take.
The last such survey was in 2009 and it identified several concerns which were later addressed. Transportation issues especially were highlighted.
However, only 563 of the 1,000 surveys were returned that year. Many who were given a chance to speak out chose not to do so.
The silence is disappointing, since decisions made at the council table affect Summerlanders much more than decisions by any other level of government.
The municipal government deals with issues of zoning, roads, water, parks and other items which affect our day-to-day lives.
If you are one of the survey recipients, please get involved and speak out. It’s your chance to be heard.