No elec­tion? No way!

The Packet (Clarenville) - - EDITORIAL -

You’ve got to won­der - Why are some many towns hav­ing such trou­ble at­tract­ing a com­pet­i­tive slate of can­di­dates for this com­ing Septem­ber’s mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions?

This ques­tion has al­ways been in the back of my mind - but on Tues­day, at the con­clu­sion of the Clarenville mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion nom­i­na­tion pe­riod, it came full frontal.

De­spite the fact that we have an ex­cel­lent slate of new coun­cil­lors (I hope I am near as good as the rest), I was floored when I found out that Clarenville, the 12th largest town in the prov­ince — a town that has al­ways had a com­pet­i­tive slate, and frankly, a town with many, many “en­gaged” cit­i­zens — would not have to hold an elec­tion be­cause only seven names were put for­ward for the seven avail­able seats (Clarenville nor­mally holds a sep­a­rate bal­lot for the sin­gle may­oral seat and for the six coun­cil po­si­tions).

Wow!

There are many po­ten­tial rea­sons for why this could have hap­pened. Poor tim­ing, lack of in­ter­est, high sat­is­fac­tion with the cur­rent Coun­cil, lack of aware­ness, and the re­quired time com­mit­ment are all held up as the usual ar­gu­ments for why peo­ple just didn’t bother.

On the same day the thou­sands took the time to line up (again) for hours for Chase the Ace in the Goulds — com­plete with mas­sive me­dia at­ten­tion, we here in Clarenville (and Arnold’s Cove, and Sun­ny­side, and count­less other ‘small’ towns across the prov­ince) lost the op­por­tu­nity for a solid de­bate on the goals, ac­tiv­i­ties and the fu­ture of our Town.

It’s a symp­tom of a prob­lem that needs to be ad­dressed — soon.

In the mean­time, we will move for­ward to the very best of our abil­i­ties. Your in­put is in­vited — and re­quired.

Coun. Paul Til­ley Clarenville

This let­ter was also pub­lished in Til­ley’s online blog “Our Town – Clarenville.”

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