Time to exercise that valuable vote

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Being that Bow Valley residents are now just days away from voting in the Oct. 16 municipal election, the Outlook encourages everyone to get out there and exercise that right.

Keep in mind there are millions of people around the world who do not have the right to vote, or have any say in their own governance. Canadians are among the fortunate in this world in this regard.

We also encourage Outlook readers to read over election-related stories on these pages, candidate information, attend a remaining forum or view forum videos – as the best choice is an informed choice.

There will be voters who side for a given candidate based on a personal, single-issue pet peeve; but there is much more to being a mayor or councillor than a single issue. The mayor or councillor you choose must give careful consideration, weigh all information, debate when necessary and, finally, make a decision based on their best understanding of available information and what is best for themselves and the residents of their town.

These decisions may have wide ranging effects, such as those where millions of taxpayer dollars are involved, or have a smaller focus, like allowance or placement of sandwich board signs – and everything in between.

Currently, the councils in place in Banff and Canmore, in particular, have been faced with making many tough calls in regard to affordable housing, traffic, transit, treatment of green space, tourism, dog and wildlife issues … the list goes on, and on and on.

A voter must look at both the small and big picture in respect to what is happening in their town, and at what the future may hold.

The issues above certainly have not been solved and will continue to dominate council meetings, open houses, forums, public hearings, etc. well into the future.

Mayors and councillors must also read through reams of material in advance of decisions being made, take part in various committees and, in general, put in plenty of quality time (hopefully) while representing those who elect them to office.

As well, mayor and council decisions come under media and public scrutiny and they must not let that scrutiny sway them in their decision making. And there is plenty of scrutiny in this valley, as there are many vocal, single-issue groups out there who may never be satisfied with decisions made.

In many ways, being a mayor or councillor is one of the most honourable means of serving in one’s community. And at times, we’re sure, it must seem to council members to be one of the most thankless.

Still, a large number of candidates in Banff and Canmore have thrown their name into the election ring, so there are obviously people ready to serve in their respective communities; and we thank them in advance, win or lose, for stepping up.

Light ‘em up

As days have shortened, and will continue to grow shorter, with longer stretches of darkness, we’re already noticing (barely) the cyclists who continue to ride our streets sans any form of lighting.

These days, bike lighting systems are cheap and there’s really no reason not to clip one onto one’s mount for the sake of safety.

Please, bike riders, give some serious thought to adding lights to your metal steed.

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Rocky Mountain Outlook