No election? No way!
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).
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.”