Editorial: Time to think about running for local elections

So far few people have declared their candidacy

If you’ve ever thought of running for a chair at the local council table or school board, now is the time to start getting serious.

Municipal elections are coming up in October, and so far few people have declared their candidacy, aside from several mayor hopefuls for the Municipality of North Cowichan (though we suspect even there more are still to come).

We have heard no rumblings yet about anyone who is planning to run for the mayor’s seat in the City of Duncan. This is one race that will produce a new face at the head of the local council, as sitting Mayor Phil Kent has announced he will not seek re-election due to health reasons.

So who will take up the reins in Canada’s smallest city? With residents voting down amalgamation with North Cowichan in the spring, there are certainly challenges to be faced and leadership is needed.

Another place where there are guaranteed to be new faces is on North Cowichan council. Two sitting councillors, Joyce Behnsen and Al Siebring have launched mayoral campaigns, meaning that their council seats are up for grabs.

Up at the Town of Lake Cowichan current councillor Bob Day has declared that he intends to run for mayor. That leaves at least one spot open on council, and Day is likely to face challengers in the mayoral race.

Particularly in these days of social media the idea of running for office, even locally, can be a daunting one. The notion of having every tweet and Facebook post you’ve ever made possibly scrutinized by opponents can be chilling. And that’s to say nothing of the criticism doled out to those who do get into office.

But our communities need good people. People who are not necessarily looking to become professional politicians, but are simply passionate about the future of our communities. It’s not an easy task to take up, but it can be a rewarding one. Think about it.

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