In 2011, Abbotsford voters faced a major decision in regard to funding a proposed new water supply. They soundly defeated the plan by referendum, and in the process, also removed a first-term mayor and replaced him with a political newcomer.
This civic election does not have such a high-profile and controversial issue, however, it is no less important.
The choices the electorate will make this Saturday will be in effect for a longer, four-year term. And the issues that face this community through that period such as homelessness, municipal taxation, spending, and local economic prosperity are vital.
It is the responsibility of voters to refresh their memories of this council’s past term, and inform themselves about the candidates who offer new choices – and do the same for school trustees.
There is much information available in past issues of The News, and on our website, abbynews.com/municipalelection.
Voters certainly do not have a lack of candidates, with 30 people including four incumbents vying for one of eight council seats, and 16 school board trustee hopefuls for seven spots, along with two mayoralty challengers. As well, this is the first time in many years that Abbotsford is seeing a political slate running candidates for council.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of candidates. Remember, you are not required to mark a full ballot, naming a candidate for every seat available. Of course, you may do that, but you may also decide to select only a few names.
It is also your choice to support everyone who runs on a slate, or just one or two. The candidates you choose must represent your vision and values, and you must be confident they can do that independently, rather than as a party to “group think.”
The most important thing you must do is exercise your right to vote.