Time is almost up

Only a few precious hours remain for those interested in running for office in this fall’s municipal election. Nomination forms must be filed by 2pm on July 27.

Details on the process are available on township websites. Granted, most people considering a run will have looked into details already, but time is still left for those undecided or sitting on the fence.

The call to serve in public office is something different for everyone. There are some generalities, including dissatisfaction with current council activities, the desire to champion an issue or getting a gentle push from friends to use skills that would benefit the community.

A more recent phenomenon however is the candidate seeking a job, now that the pay, travel and perks have shifted from an honorarium to a reasonably good gig – particularly for mayors and county councillors.

Details of who is running as of Tuesday at 5pm are in this week’s Newspaper. The most current list will reside with the clerk of your township. Either check the website or contact them to confirm the status of nominees – time is almost up.

Speaking of timing

Most things in life are relative.

We are thinking specifically about the gas plant scandal a number of years ago when then-premier Dalton McGuinty cancelled a gas plant to try and retain a seat at Queen’s Park.

Local conservatives (including councillors) railed against the obvious politicking involved. Years later, it is still held up as a vote-buying example of egregious ambition. Wasted money, wasted effort, wasted time … it was just a waste.

All things being relative, we see local councils scampering away from issues as nomination day closes in.

Centre Wellington deferred its publicly recommended remuneration package a few weeks ago.

The same council also took a pass on $400,000 worth of cemetery plot revenue to retain a grove of trees to satisfy neighbour interests.

Guelph-Eramosa thumbed its nose at the Xinyi glass plant proposal, with a speculative annual tax windfall of $1 million to the township, $1 million for education and $2 million for the county. The applicant, wholly welcomed and embraced until this latest public meeting, was shown the door. Had there not been an election on the horizon, would the choice have been the same? That is now the million dollar question – or in this case, the $4 million dollar proposition.

Xinyi is now being chased by other municipalities eager for the industrial revenue potential to offset rising residential taxes.

While the decisions may well prove to be the right choice, the smell of cheap politics hangs in the air. Timing is everything in politics it seems.