Candidates have varying ideas; study their platforms

School’s back in session, the last lingering warmth of the summer is disappearing and mornings have been cloaked in fog which burns off

School’s back in session, the last lingering warmth of the summer is disappearing and mornings have been cloaked in fog which burns off as the day progresses.

Perhaps it’s the hot air being generated by the coming municipal election. The temperature has certainly increased as the sprint through September to the Oct. 21st election begins.

We’re guaranteed to have an election worthy of note this year with three competent candidates contesting the mayor’s position and many lining up for the six council seats.

This week’s Sylvan Lake News features stories on the latest candidate to announce for mayor, Sean McIntyre. Also included are profiles on council candidates Chris Lust, Megan Chernoff and information on Dale Plante’s switch from the mayoralty race to that of councillor.

We’ve heard rumblings of other council candidates and fully expect, in next week’s paper to add to the list such that there will be more than six candidates all urging residents to weigh the options and cast their votes intelligently.

Once nominations are filed on Sept. 23 we’ll know exactly who’s going to be on the ballot.

In the meantime, it behooves residents to get to know the people who want to guide our community into the future, who want to work as a team with others elected to retain and improve the quality of living we enjoy and consider the questions posed by continued growth.

Seek the candidates at public functions, question them about your concerns and provide your ideas. This is the time in the election process when they’re most available to listen and learn. Because they are elected by the community at large instead of from specific districts as in larger municipalities, everyone should be engaging these people in discussion about Sylvan Lake — why you live here, what you love about the community, and what can be done to improve it for you and yours.

Sylvan Lake & District Chamber of Commerce is hosting two forums to allow candidates greater exposure to the electorate. These are always fascinating venues where platforms are announced and questions from residents provide an interesting view of what’s on people’s minds.

The first, the mayoralty debate, will be held on Friday, Oct. 4 from 7-9 p.m. at the community centre. The second, a councillor’s forum, will take place on Friday, Oct. 11 at the same times and place. Be sure to mark these dates in your handy calendar or electronic device and plan to attend.

You’ll be pleased with the calibre of candidates seeking to represent our community and make wide-ranging decisions that could affect us for years to come.

Then, of course, make sure you vote on Oct. 21. During the last election just 31.2 per cent of eligible voters marked ballots. We need to improve this substantially to ensure those elected are the choices of the majority of our community.

Continuing growth in Sylvan Lake means, as well, that many people have begun to call Sylvan Lake home since the last election. This will be their first chance to vote here — we encourage our new neighbours and friends to get involved in the democratic process. Particularly since the next election won’t be for another four years (an increase of one year in the term with this election).