In exactly two months the residents of Oak Bay will make an important decision about the direction our community will take in the coming years. This decision will determine our financial security, housing options, commercial vibrancy, availability of elder care and even the potholes and deer population.
There is a lot at stake and a lot to learn, so I encourage all residents interested in the future of our community to get informed and get involved.
As a baseline, commit to voting and encourage others to vote. There are at least three polls: Early polls on Oct 10th & 17th, then the main poll on October 20th.
Learn about the candidates. Most have websites up already with policy platforms – my website www.murdoch4mayor.com has been up for six months now, with many detailed policies at www.murdoch4mayor.com/policies. There are at least 3 all-candidates meetings scheduled (currently scheduled for September 22nd, September 26th, and October 11th); be sure to attend one or more of these if you are able.
Talk to the candidates and see what makes them tick. Are they motivated? Does their vision of the community align with yours? Are they balanced, reasonable and informed in their approach to issues?
For the role of Mayor, integrity, leadership, vision, ability to deliver, approach, management style, policies, priorities… these all should inform your choice, as should your own priorities and hopes for the community.
For Councillors, the same sorts of criteria matter, but you should also feel comfortable being selective in your votes. You have significantly more impact with your vote by choosing only candidates you strongly support rather than filling out all six options (if there are six you strongly support – even better!).
Please take the time this September and October to learn about your candidates and inform them about the issues that matter to you. This is a critical election for our community, and your vote will make the difference. Use it wisely.
And of course, if you are considering running for Council, have a good work ethic, time and knowledge to contribute, and a love of the community: I encourage you to run; it is a very rewarding way of giving back.