It takes a unique kind of person to hold any elected position, but perhaps none more so than those who hold municipal positions.
Yes the job pays for your time and effort, but the amount of payment doesn’t necessarily seem equal to what you’re going to be enduring: time away from friends and family to partake in long and tedious meetings, people coming up to you on the streets or in the grocery store or anywhere you may be to talk about the decisions you did or didn’t make, family members being asked about what you’re doing and, of course, a heap of criticism from people online and elsewhere about the job being done by people who may or may not fully understand the workings at the City.
And, particularly when it comes to the Mayor’s full-time position, after three years if the people don’t like you you’re left without a job, without a pension or benefits and you can’t just transfer from this position to a similar position because they’re all elected.
On the School Board, you have passionate parents doing the same critiquing and questioning while facing declining enrolment, lower funding levels and increased costs.
It’s a pretty thankless job really.
But, if you want to have a say in the direction of the City, there is no better way than putting your name forward to sit on council or in the Mayor’s chair. Not only are these people the decision makers at the local level, they’re the connection to the higher levels of government and they speak on behalf of everyone in town when they meet.
It’s easy to sit behind a computer and critique what the City or the School Board is doing or talk about how you would do it better, but it’s an entirely different thing to step forward, actively seek change and get involved in the running of these two organizations.
Yesterday the nominations for the November municipal elections opened up. In 2008 there were two candidates for mayor, 15 residents seeking the six council seats and 10 seeking positions on the school board. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t see at least the same this year.
If you want to directly influence Prince Rupert’s future, now is your chance…