LETTER: Why you should vote

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Why Should I Vote?

How many of us are asking ourselves this question? In the next two weeks there will be three opportunities to vote in Oak Bay: advance voting Oct. 10, 17 and election day Oct 20 so will you exercise your duty to vote? There are 10 people running for 6 council positions. Incumbents like the rest of the candidates need to be voted in. In addition, there are 2 candidates running for the position of mayor. Seven individuals will get the privilege to represent us as Oak Bay Council for the next 4 years, a privilege bestowed by Oak Bay residents, but only the ones that vote. So, before you head to the polls, give it some thought.

What matters to you in our community: Parks? infrastructure (roads, pipes, sidewalks) concerns? heritage preservation ? accessible transportation? trees? housing diversity? development levels? density? accessible council and district transparency? progress? more commercial? lower taxes? more services? less regulations? more regulations? secondary suites? or maybe even deer management? Do you know the candidates thoughts on these important matters? Do they align with yours?

In terms governments, municipal politicians have the most influence and impact on you and your community directly. So, your vote will make a difference in how our community will develop over the next 4 years and beyond. So help shape Oak Bay and get out and VOTE! Let’s see if we can get more than the 44 % of eligible voters – which was the casein 2014 – out to vote.

But don’t stop there! Voting is only the beginning. Stay engaged and make sure council and the councillors you voted in are accountable and advance the ideas and policies they committed to during the campaign. Our candidates need to be mindful that they are not given a ‘carte blanche’ once elected. Four years is a long time and a lot can happen, and we should all expect council to check in and consult with us on issues that affect our community. Anything short of on-going public engagement during their tenure is an insult to the constituents that voted them in and the public office they hold.

See you at the polls.

Kris Nichols

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