Successful candidates … what is required?

by Karen Hirst

I don’t know about you but I am feeling the vibes of a very competitive election campaign brewing in the wings with perspective candidates chomping at the bit to get the show on the road.

We don’t know yet who may choose to enter the race for the honour of occupying one of the seats around the Mississippi Mills horseshoe, however, based on this past couple of years, each seat to be filled is of utmost importance to the future of Mississippi Mills.

Before casting our ballots in October, each eligible voter needs to scrutinize each candidate to determine whether or not they represent what we think is best for the governance of our community.

The passionate interests within a community are many…there are the policy wonks, the arts & sports enthusiasts, the needs and desires of youth, working families and seniors. Some will feel passionate about economic growth & development, fiscal restraint & support for our commercial district. Others will emphasize safety & infrastructure, environmental management, historical identity, access to a broad scope of professional service providers and facilitators for health and well-being. Combined rural and urban aspects expand further the focus of unique interests and passions…all pressing for attention by someone, somewhere.

Each need and passionate interest is represented by a tax paying citizen, each specific to what constitutes their quality of life and each one requesting their place at the decision-making table.

These pockets of passion, for any number of voiced reasons offered by opposing sides, have proven of late to be minefields of division within Mississippi Mills. It is not my purpose to rehash any of the differing opinions or pass any judgement…the time to register my hopes for our community, will be at the ballot box in October.

My only intent here is to emphasize, in the interest of our future, the need to seek candidates with the best credentials for managing skillfully such a broad range of passions and interests throughout our diverse region. It is my belief that before we cast a ballot in the next election, we examine each candidate for their demonstrated ability in managing differing points of view and through the use of inclusive, collaborative processes reach a satisfactory conclusion for the benefit of thecollective whole.”

In today’s political climate we need candidates that can stretch themselves across the divide and lead people towards the fulfillment of everyone’s common purpose…the continued well being of our community and to do so in a manner that is responsible, respectful, inclusive and transparent.

In order to accomplish such a feat one would believe that tremendous energy, commitment, leadership and conflict resolution skills are high on the list of attributes. We need to ask…” How have you demonstrated over the past couple of years, in this climate of divide, that you have the skills and abilities necessary to achieve satisfactory results for the benefit of the “collective whole?”

Many have grown tired and weary by the words and actions that promote hostility and tactics of divisiveness and striving for one-upmanship.

Our town is deserving of something better than this approach and we are more than capable of rising up from the ashes to give it our best….may the best women and men be the successful candidates.