Here we are again. Another 3 years, another city election. Get out to vote, please. I think most people don’t get out to vote for city hall, but it is the most accountable level of government to the citizens. Here’s a list of reasons you may find helpful in deciding to get out and vote.
- Most roads are built and maintained by the city. If you don’t like how your roads have been, you should vote.
- They fund and run our civic services. These include libraries, community centres, senior centres, swimming pools, ice rinks, parks, greenways, garbage collection, police and fire, and parking. If you want more of something, then you should take interest in the civic vote.
- Municipal governments determine the tax structure for your property taxes. They can reallocate taxes amongst residential, commercial, and industrial tax payers. Your property taxes are how civic governments are funded are provide services for our roads.
- Municipal governments handle zoning. I am not for laissez-faire zoning where developers have free reign. Constrictions and regulations within which industry can work help to create the kind of city that people want to live in. Otherwise, you could get an unwanted neighbour if your civic government is green-lighting every single development.
- Whoever is in power in civic governments go on to represent your city on the regional level in Metro Vancouver. Metro Vancouver is in charge of regional transportation, regional water and sewage, and the agricultural and green zones of the region. With the right people in power, you can have a stronger voice in preserving precious agricultural land from disappearing and push for more preservation of green areas like parks, forests, and Burns Bog.
I have lots of friends that tell me that the civic vote is not important. In fact, it is one of the most important votes because the mayor and council have the most power to shape how the city will grow and develop. A good city council will make tough decisions to help improve the city landscape. A bad mayor and council will simply look at the bottom line and proliferate development beyond reasonable limits.
Please go out to vote. I don’t care who you vote for as long as you take part in the process. Look at how Ujjal Dosanjh almost lost his federal seat by 20 votes! All my friends said it wasn’t worth voting in Vancouver South because Dosanjh was a sure win. Even I said that it was unlikely that Dosanjh would lose. Well, that was not the case at all. Please vote.