Editorial: An honourable job

There are only a couple of days left before nominations close in the 2018 municipal elections. This year’s election will be an interesting one in South Dundas.

For the first time in 15 years there will be an election for the English-Public school board trustee in Dundas County. There are at least two people running for each of the positions at South Dundas council. With the retirement of one current council member, and two incumbents vying for the same position, the next edition of municipal council is guaranteed to have at least two new people at the table. There is also the potential for the next South Dundas council to be completely new. As we have seen with other recent elections, change is in the air.

The nomination period closes July 27th at 2 p.m. People can still file their candidacies, or withdraw, or choose to modify their candidacies if they already have filed their nomination papers.

Make no mistake, running for office is a gutsy thing to do. It is difficult to stick one’s neck out, to ask for support from peers and the community, and then to face their judgement. Putting your name on the ballot is the most proactive way to stop just talking/complaining about an issue: you have chosen to step up and to start fixing it.

There is a substantial cost to running for office, and it is not just financial. Time is now not just yours and your family’s, it belongs to everyone. Stopping for gas and groceries will no longer be a quick task. Candidates will have their ears bent on a wide variety of issues.

People in public service always have challenges with which to deal. Complaints will come from people who are unhappy about how an issue affects them, or how it wasn’t resolved to their personal satisfaction. Far too often those who undertake to serve rarely receive the positives of a job well done, of an issue resolved, or of help provided. That said, people who serve the public do so because they want to help: it is important to remember that they run for office with the best intentions.

Public service is still an honourable job. Anyone willing to put his/her name forward to seek election and, if elected, to hold office, is owed a debt of gratitude. Serving any community is not easy. It often requires sacrifice. So to those who are running, thank you for standing up. To those who are still considering running, please do. An election with many choices can only be healthy for our democracy.