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The municipal elections are over. We thank all of those that have served and are either stepping down or unsuccessful in their election or re-election bids. We also thank all of those that are stepping up to the plate in municipal service too. Being Mayor and sitting on council is a big commitment and not always a thankful vocation.
We knew when the incumbent Rob Mackin was not running that we were going to have a new Mayor in Hinton and, although the results are unofficial as I write, Marcel Michaels won his poll in Hinton by 1321 votes to 844 over Stuart Taylor. Gerald Soroka won his contest again in Yellowhead County. Full unofficial results from our distribution area can be found on our Facebook page: http:// www.facebook.com/McLeodRiverPost
Edson was notable for two things. Firstly, the lateness of the declared result again keeping hardworking journalists up until 1 a.m. and gone to post the unofficial results. And, more importantly, after an election run up that did turn a little nasty, Kevin Zahara defeated incumbent Greg Pasychny for the Mayoral contest by 1160 votes to 735. The turnout we understand was a disappointing 29 per cent.
During the campaign the debate over fieldhouse versus art centre came up more than once and I expect that to continue with the new administration. Both, nice to have. Affordable to build, perhaps, affordable to run and maintain, methinks therein lies the rub.
The economy is not great although there are signs of diversity taking up some slack. I’m going to throw up an issue now that came up during the election more than once and is a headache for communities near and far. How to keep our children in the area that want to stay near home when further education in the main is city based?
Children will get local jobs, start local businesses, become local consumers, volunteer and maybe stand for office and have children of their own to continue the cycle. So, what on earth are we doing to make that happen? Not an awful lot I don’t think. We have a will we, I think, must find a way.
Education and further education, which does not require the level of supervision of younger kids because the assumption is older ones want to learn rather than must learn, can easily be delivered in ways that don’t require packing one’s kids off to university or college for months at a time. The old way is arguably essential for college and university budgets but I don’t think it has to be so.
More local campuses and learning centres please. More opportunity for remote learning backed up by occasional visits to learning centres if required. It’s not rocket science the way is out there now and not that expensive.
Children that go to the cities, often stay in the cities and often get conditioned into thinking that a city is the only place to get a job. Not so, if they don’t want to. Of course, having high class local facilities will likely encourage youngsters to set up near home but I think the horse should come before the cart on this one. It’s much easier to pay for nice things when populations are rising rather than stagnating or falling.