EDITORIAL: Super Saturday

Saturday, Oct. 20 will mark local election day in British Columbia, when voters will go to the polls to elect councillors for the City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum Beach, directors for the Regional District of Nanaimo and trustees for School District 69.

‘Super Saturday’ is anything but, with voter turnouts across the region averaging between 35 and 40 per cent.

Who are these folks who toss their hats in the proverbial ring every four years to help guide our municipalities and school districts — and why would they want to? For the most part they are a mix of everyday folks; business people, professionals, labourers, parents, etc.

What do they do? Primarily, they deal with decisions best made locally: tax rates, rezoning, transit, garbage pickup, libraries, policing — the list goes on.

Why do they do it? They are passionate about the place they live and believe they can contribute to making life better for the rest of us.

Local elected officials have been under the spotlight more than they might have anticipated this year, for varying reasons.

In Parksville, it’s a contentious supportive housing proposal. In Qualicum Beach it’s a two-year OCP review. In the RDN, it’s a sewer system planned for the Bowser area and at the school board level, the lowering of the voting age to 16.

Sixteen-year-olds voting for their school trustees has sparked plenty of debate lately. If nothing else, we should hope this change would create interest in community government at an earlier age, with that interest continuing through the rest of their lives. An upward voting trend turnout would be welcome.

Despite a four-year commitment to many meetings and enduring social media commentary, let’s hope the shine of serving your neighbour doesn’t rub off and our communities are able to find incumbents to move forward and fresh, eager candidates to enter the arena.

We want candidates who come forward and offer their candidacy this fall to be “for” something, to have a vision and be eager to change things, as they see them, for the better.

There is no more important layer of government than the local one — the one closest to the people.

Mark your calendars.

— Parksville Qualicum Beach News

Just Posted

Parksville council won’t ban single-use plastic bags

Politicians vote 6-1 against proposed bylaw

History: The architectural legacy of Sam Little

Designs leave legacy in Qualicum Beach, other Island locales

Qualicum Beach doles out Community Awards

Jacobson is Citizen of the Year; new mayor Wiese named top newsmaker

Finalists announced for annual Business Achievement Awards

Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce honours individuals, businesses

Parksville artist aims to produce zero waste with creations, business

Margie Preninger even dabbled with dryer lint years ago

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

Most Read