Election will shape Oak Bay’s future

Municipal elections consistently see low voter turnout

No matter how the voting shakes out there’s bound to be a lot of change around Oak Bay city hall after the final ballots are counted Saturday night.

With two councillors not seeking re-election and a third opting to make a run at the mayor’s chair, Oak Bay is certain to have a few new faces around the council table in the upcoming term.

But new faces or old, the choices will have a profound impact on the future of Oak Bay. Municipal governments have the most significant effect on the day-to-day lives of citizens, from property taxes to water and sewer systems, from business incentives to parks and sidewalks. And the impact will be long-lasting, with mayors and councillors now being elected to four-year terms.

If you care about your community, you owe it to your neighbours to get out and cast your vote on Saturday.

Oak Bay residents deserve some credit for the 42 per cent turnout rate achieved in the 2011 municipal elections, far above the dismal 29.5 per cent average seen around the province. But that still falls short of the 64 per cent of eligible voters in Oak Bay-Gordon Head who turned out to the polls in last year’s provincial election.

The Oak Bay News has profiled all of the candidates for mayor, councillor and school trustee, and their answers to a series of questions can be found in the past two weeks issues of the paper or online at oakbaynews.com/municipalelection/.

Pick an issue that is important to you and find the candidate or candidates that you think will best address that issue. You don’t have to vote for the full contingent of six council candidates if there are only five that deserve your vote.

The choices you make will have a lot to do with the community you live in for the next four years.