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Election interest high

by Patrick Raftis

The 2014 municipal election campaign will soon be moving into high gear with the imminent arrival of the Sept. 12 deadline for candidates to file nomination papers. Mapleton continues to be a hotbed of democracy, with elections needed (barring a flurry of last-minute withdrawals) for both the mayor seat  and councillor positions.

This year, races appear likely for most positions across Wellington County, which is always a positive situation. Anytime electors have a choice, it improves the chances of finding quality candidates.

It wasn’t long ago acclamations were common in municipal elections throughout rural and small-town Ontario, a scenario that could lead to stagnation in some municipalities where new council members and new ideas were both rarities.

There could be a wide array of reasons for the surge, including never-ending hikes in property tax. Perhaps even the shotgun amalgamations of the Mike Harris era played a part in reviving interest in local government, as citizens were forced to consider municipal issues seriously, in many cases for the first time. Better pay likely plays a part as well.

Successful candidates for council receive a pretty decent rate for a part-time job, while mayors and other county councillors are now quite well compensated.

It no longer needs be a financial hardship to serve your community. Whatever the reasons, it’s a positive trend that will hopefully fill local council chambers with forward thinkers for the next four years.

September 5, 2014

 
 

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