We are just into August, but it is nearing the time that as a community we start thinking about the upcoming municipal election.
The next general election for urban municipalities (cities, towns, villages) will take place Wednesday October 24, 2012.
In terms of running for Council nominations will open Aug. 27, and close Sept. 19, so the time to take the leap into the world of local politics grows close.
The upcoming election is likely to be an interesting one in terms of issues locally.
When you take a look at the last three years under Mayor James Wilson and the current edition of Council, the one thing that stands out, is that it has been a time of phenomenal growth in Yorkton.
While you can argue the growth, at least in terms of business, would have happened without Council, they do play a role.
Whether it’s a new canola crushing plant, or a hotel, or a steakhouse, such business investment comes with confidence in the local community.
The confidence is really two-fold.
On one hand business must believe there is the chance to make a return on investment. That means they see Yorkton as a robust city where growth is likely to continue.
Business owners expanding, or starting new enterprises, in the city, must also feel they can attract the staff to operate the businesses successfully.
Council actually plays a role in both areas.
They must be open to the idea of business expansion, and in Yorkton where the City develops most of the land available for commercial developments, that means being read when investors come looking.
As for employees, it is important the City offer families the amenities they desire and the infrastructure a community requires to be safe and vibrant.
So when you look at decisions made by Council to build a new fire hall, add a new ladder truck to the department’s fleet it helps create the safe community.
The major investment in the water treatment plant opened this year also helps create a vibrant city.
While the decisions to proceed with the above developments were not all made during the current term of Council, they are examples of the importance of municipal government.
And that is why the election this fall is important. It is an opportunity to have a public discussion of the future direction of our city, and to vote for seven candidates we believe can best pilot Yorkton the next four years.
So as August moves forward it is time to consider who might make good councillors and to encourage them to consider running. It is the first step in a key democratic process we should all take very seriously.