Advance View: Big decisions on civic leaders

We’re all a little distracted by the ongoing labour fight between the province and teachers, so people may not have noticed that election season is about to start again.

This Nov. 15, we’ll be going to the polls to select our mayors and councillors, not just here in the Langleys, but across the province.

This will also be the first time that local politicians will be serving four-year terms instead of the three-year terms that have been the norm for the past few decades.

Four years is a long time. Whoever is chosen this November will have power to help define many things about our communities. They will have say over property tax rates, over which new neighbourhoods develop and how quickly they grow, over how often the grass is mowed on playing fields and on how many hanging baskets there are on municipal streets. They can determine the location of new stop lights, roundabouts, and bike lanes. They are the people we call about potholes and snow-covered streets.

In addition, we’ll be electing school trustees, who have power over whether smaller schools close or stay open, and over the many special programs offered across the district.

Considering they’re this important, it’s a shame that so few people will vote this November. If the turnout is more than 25 per cent, that would represent a pretty good year, historically speaking.

In the next few months, we’ll be revving up our coverage of municipal election issues, talking to candidates, and covering the debates that will be sponsored by several local organizations. The Langley Advance will do its best to cover the major issues and hit the high points. But between the City, Township, and board of education, voters will also have some responsibility to look into things for themselves. Check out candidate websites, write letters to the editor about issues of concern, attend the debates. The next four years are up for grabs. Don’t sit on the sidelines.

– M.C.

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