In some respects the current municipal election may seem like the one which will be remembered as lacking a galvanizing issue.
And in some respects that is the case.
The Councils of the recent past have made many of the hard decisions regarding the city’s growth.
At the time cost over runs, some based on the corresponding national building boom, and some based on questionable planning, made the Gallagher Centre an issue for some.
But as we look back on it from the perspective of having seen what the revitalized centre has meant to the city, far fewer would question the then Council’s foresight to proceed with the work.
In fact, it might be argued today, with the clarity of hindsight, that the Council of the day cut a few costs which should have stayed as part of the project.
As an example with the 2010 flood of the Yorkton Public Library, the plan to attach a new library as part of the Gallagher Centre work looks like an idea which should have been pursued.
The same can be said for an idea at the time to look at geothermal heat for the facility. As energy prices edge higher, it may have proven an investment which would have paid dividends.
The Water Treatment Plant is one which cost the City more than $40 million, but again it was a decision Council had to make. The province was already warning the old system was not one which could maintain new water standards, so something had to be done.
Council at the time construction was being planned might had chose to go smaller, something closer in scale to meeting only current city needs.
But there were signs of both local and provincial growth by then, and Council again had the foresight to see Yorkton as much larger than it is today, so they chose to invest more today to make the plant capable of handing a more robust community in the years ahead.
Those big decisions are in the past and that leaves the current election struggling for an issue on which candidates can define themselves.
So the work falls more to the voters to get to know the candidates as this election is less about a single issue and more about the vision of our city’s future.
We are experiencing growth and we need that to be sustained in an orderly and manageable way.
In the next four years Council’s biggest job will be in managing the growth so that Yorkton retains many of the fine community attributes we all appreciate.
The issues may be less clearly defined this year, but the responsibility to vote is no less important.
So next Wednesday (Oct. 24), we the citizens of Yorkton must play our role. We need to get to the polls and elect the Mayor and Council we feel have the best vision for our city, and are most capable of seeing their vision fulfilled.