To those who ran 

By Jenn Watt

Published Oct. 23 2018

Congratulations to all who took a risk and put their name forward for a seat on municipal council. You gave us your ideas energy and experience and provided us with choice in what our communities will look like over the next four years.

For those who garnered the most votes and will now take a seat at the council table: we are counting on you to take care of not only our tax dollars but also some of our most cherished programs and spaces. You’re now setting policy that will affect our parks and arenas the health of our lakes and the safety of our streets. You are in a position to create housing and transportation build a rec centre put in sidewalks fund youth programming prepare us for climate change and so much more.

Municipal government doesn’t get enough credit for the heavy lifting it does and the critical role it plays in community – and you are now an important decision maker in that government.

To those who did not win an equally heartfelt thanks to you and a plea: don’t go away.

We need you.

No matter how you fared in the polls the very fact that you stepped up and took a risk to improve your municipality means you’ve got passion for this place.

We watched over the last several months as you built websites and launched social media accounts answered questions from the newspaper and interest groups and took to the stage during all-candidates meetings. You knocked on doors and put your face on posters literally putting yourself out there for judgment.

If this election was anything like all other elections you likely also endured hearing misinformation about yourself or your ideas through some sort of broken-telephone-style gossip. You likely had to clarify your positions again and again. People likely said things about you that were unfair and unkind – at best.

But even if you’re feeling let down right now please don’t back away from public life.

We need people who legitimately care about the health of this county to contribute to committees and boards to pitch in at fundraisers and local gatherings.

Use your energy and talents to improve other areas of life. Join the arts council or the chamber of commerce sign up to make sets for one of the theatre groups or raise fish at the hatchery. Raise money with one of the service clubs or help the HHHS Foundation and auxiliaries make a new purchase for our hospitals. Join an environmental group and push for a strong climate change policy for the Highlands. Collect coats for SIRCH or provisions for the food banks.

And don’t rule out running again.

People vote for specific candidates for a host of reasons and not winning doesn’t mean there isn’t support for your ideas. Things could be different next time.

Thank you for being part of the election – stick around. This community needs you.