Editorial: Your turn, ask away

Beginning October 3, South Dundas voters will have the opportunity to ask municipal candidates face-to-face their questions at any of the three all-candidates meetings organized by the local chamber of commerce. The first meeting is in Dixon’s Corners at Matilda Hall, followed by October 11th in Iroquois at the Civic Centre, and October 15th in Morrisburg at the Upper Canada Playhouse.

These meetings are your chance to take what you have learned so far about the candidates, and discover how they handle themselves in public. The public meetings are also a good chance to see how the candidates for South Dundas council interact with each other on stage when answering your questions. This is significant as group dynamics do play a key role in the smooth workings of a governing body.

This year, candidates for the Upper Canada District School Board and Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario trustee for Dundas County will also be at the meetings. With public education being top-of-mind for parents in South Dundas, here is also a good opportunity to talk to those particular candidates.

The importance of asking questions cannot be stated enough. Only once every four years do voters get the opportunity to select who represents them at council. Now is the time to ask questions of incumbents whether you are unhappy with the actions of this council, or want to speak in support of their efforts. And voters can assess the challengers on what they plan to do differently.

There are a few things to remember at public meetings: Speak into the microphone so everyone can hear you; Direct a clear and concise question to the candidates; Avoid long preambles before getting to the question; And lastly, and most importantly, be respectful of the candidates.

Educated voters at the ballot box on October 22nd ensure that people make informed decisions when they cast their ballots. Municipal politics represents the most personal form of government in any democracy. Those elected are your friends, your neighbours, your family, your acquaintances. Their intention is to do their best to serve.

Decisions made at the municipal level impact you the most in your day-to-day life – from schools to roads, to water and sewers. Attend at least one all-candidates meeting. Make a difference in South Dundas.