EDITORIAL: Ballot options in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Four-year terms and increased size of Qualicum Beach council are two other things to consider when you vote

Making your mark beside a candidate’s name isn’t the only thing to think about when you get to mark your ballot on Nov. 15.

While you get no say in this, terms for councillors, mayors, directors and trustees are now four years, up from the three we’ve seen for many decades.

There is some sense to this. With three-year terms, we’ve seen newly-elected people spend a year getting up to speed on how things work and a year campaigning, leaving just one year in the middle for concentration on real issues. It’s not always like that, but it happens.

In addition to choosing a mayor, councillors and school board trustees, voters in Qualicum Beach will have a question on their ballot asking if they believe their council should be expanded from five members (four councillors and the mayor) to seven members (six councillors and the mayor).

This is being called a “non-binding public opinion question,” although we believe it would be difficult for the new council to ignore the results, especially if the numbers clearly lean one way or another. Knowing Qualicum Beach politics as we do, expect a long argument over what defines “clearly lean.”

The new council can pass a bylaw that would ensure two new council seats are added to the ballot for the October, 2018 civic election, provided the bylaw passes six months before that October, 2018 election.

Outgoing Parksville Mayor Chris Burger is in a unique position to comment on this issue. He has served on councils of five and seven, and has served on councils in both Qualicum Beach and Parksville.

He has told us he favours the seven-member format. He says it is more difficult with seven people at the table to create camps that vote in blocks, which forces more consensus, more give and take and it may also force councillors to do more homework.

The cost to taxpayers, perhaps $30,000/year, could be worth the benefits. Qualicum Beach has cut its staff to the bone in recent years, so maybe the money is there. And people have bemoaned the 3-2 splits we’ve seen on recent councils (it’s not an exclusive phenomenon of this most recent council), so maybe this is a good option for this town.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Support pours in for Bowser couple whose home was destroyed by massive blaze

GoFundMe page reached $10,000 in one day for soon-to-be parents

Genre-hopping harpist, singer to perform in Parksville

Musician on a quest to demystify harp playing GZAL on Jan. 24

Councillor has concerns about Qualicum Beach pot shop decision

Debate over location, public consultation and timing continues, though commitment already made

Oceanside RCMP arrest man wanted on several outstanding warrants

Hudson David Klassen, 26, picked up in Parksville

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Truck convoy honouring Nanaimo boy who died after being struck by vehicle

Trucks left from Victoria and others joined along the way up the Island

Parksville addictions treatment advocate to speak in Port Alberni

Recovering addict Kelly seeks to share more of her story with second event

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Elderly man dead following Union Bay collision

Crash happened Sunday afternoon

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

Most Read