Thanks to the candidates

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While the official municipal election nomination day is still a few days off (Sept. 18), we’d like to thank those who have thrown their hats into the ring.

Whether those hopefuls are embarking on their first election campaign, or they are veterans of the campaign trail, all must be recognized for putting their name out there in an effort to gain a seat and take on the challenge of weighing, and deciding, what is best for our communities into the future.

And it’s a weighty challenge, as many long-term issues such as affordable housing will continue to present challenges to our mayors and councillors. Development, of course, is, has, and always will be an issue in our towns and municipal district, as will dealing appropriately with wildlife in the valley.

Issues such as parking and traffic congestion have yet to be solved and then there is the fact that decisions made must be of benefit to the many, as well as fiscally responsible. As we all know, the cost of living in our valley is already high, very high, and few decisions may be made without concern for where taxpayers’ dollars are going.

As a member of council, decisions must be made as to what’s best for all residents, our seasonal workers, families, seniors, businesses small and large, developers, our wildlife and wild spaces … the list goes on.

And with municipal politics, there is no hiding behind party affiliations; there are no party lines to be toed, no bowing out of decision making based on a party leader’s preferences; no hiding in the back benches.

In this space, we’ve stated that, for the above reasons, municipal politicians have more impact than those at the provincial or federal level. After all, once elected, how often does a voter see an MP or have a conversation with one? But municipal politicians are right here, all the time – not just in council chambers, but on the street, in our schools, at volunteer events.

Also unlike their provincial or federal counterparts, municipal politicians, particularly councillors, don’t end up flush with salary and can’t look forward to a sweet pension package.

No, being a municipal politician is less about carving out a career than about really caring for one’s community and wanting to step up and make a difference.

Do it for Terry

Once again, it’s time for the annual Terry Fox Run and we encourage everyone to take part.

It’s almost hard to believe today; the lasting effect Fox had in embarking on his Marathon of Hope in 1980. Many people, of course, don’t remember news footage from the time of a skinny, curly haired kid with an artificial leg that resulted in a somewhat odd gait, on the road with a plan to cross Canada in an effort to make a difference by helping fight cancer.

His effort proved to not only catch the attention of Canadians, but of those around the world. Just 22 at the time of his death, there was something about the feat he was trying to accomplish in running across the country while raising funds for cancer research that was so compelling.

It was the story of a little guy trying to make a big difference; of a solo endurance effort far beyond the ability of most able-bodied Canadians; of a young man looking a the big picture and challenge of fighting cancer.

This Sunday, get out and do it for Terry.

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Rocky Mountain Outlook