Help wanted

Your municipality needs help; it needs direction, a vision for the future.

Your municipality needs help; it needs direction, a vision for the future. Do you have what it takes to be a councillor? Do you know someone who does?

Your municipality is one of the community’s largest employers and oldest corporations. With decades of service to local property owners, your municipal council provides residents with a wide selection of services.

As in any multi-million dollar corporation, there will be differences of opinion among the board of directors as to the best way of achieving the goals of the shareholders and determining the most efficient operation of the corporation.

Municipal council exists for one purpose: to govern. It is accountable to the taxpayers and the community as a whole to see that the corporation achieves its annual and long-term goals such as economic growth, low taxes, sufficient police and fire protection, and maintaining infrastructure.

For some, sitting on municipal council is a matter of civic duty; for others it is an opportunity to push a personal agenda, to oust an out-of-control incumbent, or to interfere in the administration of the municipality. It is not council’s job to oversee the day-to-day operations of the corporation — that is the job of the CAO hired by council.

The grassroots is fertile ground for the propagation of all sorts of creatures who feel they have “something to offer” or who wish to “give something back to the community” and offer themselves up for election. Beware the axe-grinder or one-issue candidate whose purpose is to sabotage the community agenda for his own political ends.

There is a tremendous time commitment attached to being a councillor. In addition to the regular bi-monthly meetings there are daytime and evening committee meetings, special breakfasts to attend and impromptu meetings when you are cornered in the grocery store. Your phone will ring day and night with calls from citizens who insist that you do something about barking dogs, potholes and snow removal downtown.

If you have no interest in municipal development plans, land use bylaws, endless transportation studies or pouring over departmental budgets and monthly reports, do the community a favour and keep your nomination papers in your back pocket on Sept. 23, nomination day.

If municipal council is in touch with its residents, it enjoys the confidence and support of the community; it reflects the needs and ambitions of the community, contributing to the growth and benefit of the local economy.

Councillors must offer visionary leadership that encourages business and residential growth, and which opens the door to new opportunities for success.

Do you fit the bill?

— Off The Record