By Jenn Watt
Published June 20 2017
Every four years we’re given a ballot and a decision – who do we want on our local council? Within that four years we likely have another couple of ballots for federal and provincial representatives too.
But in between those formal elections we have many small similar decisions with ballots that we cast many times over often with far less thought.
With our money we make decisions about our towns our environment our social services even the neighbours we have.
The money we spend in our communities makes the communities we want. How we spend dollars on goods and services determines who stays and who goes. It means jobs for our neighbours resources for visitors a downtown that reflects what we value.
The local shopping conversation usually happens around Christmastime but in Haliburton County the big decisions are typically made in the summer.
Choosing to buy a book in a downtown shop is a vote cast for a local bookstore. Buying your car or boat at a local dealership or marina means there will continue to be dealerships and marinas here in the future.
Taking an exercise class employs the instructor not only for this season but gives him or her the incentive to expand offerings for next year. Maybe if enough people sign up there will be new programming added – more choice for the rest of us.
From the vantage point of the newspaper’s office we appreciate the choices subscribers and advertisers make every day. When someone chooses to buy a paper or place an ad they are getting a product but they are also casting a ballot for having local media in town. Those people are saying they value the role local media plays.
These decisions – or votes – are made every day but often without that much thought.
People seek out what they need at a price they can afford and sometimes that leads to local products and services and other times people will venture farther afield or online to find the things they need.
However as we all gear up for the busy summer ahead it’s worth reminding ourselves that the decisions we make in the Highlands – whether it’s our full-time or part-time home – shape the place.
If we want an ice cream shop on the main street we need to pick up a cone now and then. If we want to have the convenience of a health food store a hardware shop spa or gym we need to put our dollars there.
If there’s a market there will be a service. We all want to have a vibrant local economy filled with thriving businesses.
Let’s pledge to renew our support for the Highlands this summer.