Editorial: Pay attention

Those elected on Nov. 15 will determine how your tax dollars are spent, and how much you have to chip in each year.

The candidates in November’s municipal elections have filed their nomination paperwork. The races for the mayor, council and school board are officially on.

The coming weeks will be punctuated by knocks on your door from candidates seeking your vote, flyers stuffing your mailbox, signs on lawns, all-candidates meetings in school gyms and community centres.

But how many voters will actually exercise their right to do so on Nov. 15?

In 2011, 25 per cent of registered voters in Maple Ridge cast ballots, down from 29 three years prior.

In Pitt Meadows, 30 per cent voted in 2011, up from 23 in 2008.

But if voters really want change, more are going to have to show up at the polls.

An advertisement in a 1937 edition of The Gazette newspaper, placed by candidate for reeve James Miller Cameron, promised just that – “It’s time for a change.”

His ad further outlined promises to not increase taxes, to improve roads  and brides, and pressure higher levels of government to help more with the costs of assisting the poor.

So, little has changed in 77 years.

Maybe it’s time to start paying attention to who runs this newly acclaimed city of 85,000 people.

Weeding through the long list of candidates seeking positions on city council and school board can be daunting, let alone knowing who stands for what.

But with new four-year terms, you won’t have to do so as often.

Those elected on Nov. 15 will determine how your tax dollars are spent, and how much you have to chip in each year.

You should have a say in that. In this democracy, it is your responsibility.

–The News