I&A Blog: Fort St. John voters have a big decision

Written by: Andrew Tylosky/Energeticcity.ca

The 2008 Fort St. John municipal elections just turned from what wasshaping up to be a duezzy of a bore that would put the current federalelection sleep-fest to shame, into a real campaign with realdecisions, real debate and a big decision for the voters of Fort St.John.
With the announcement of Bruce Lantz running against Jim Eglinski forthe mayor’s seat, the voters of Fort St. John will have a big decisionto make about the future management style and direction within thecity. It rivals the decision the voters of Fort St. John made threeyears ago, when Eglinski ran against long time mayor SteveThorlakson.
Eglinski and Lantz are both strong, community minded guys with a trackrecord of being involved, and making a difference with the causesthey’ve been involved in.However, the style in which they’d go about managing the next threeyears in the city will be very different.
Agree or disagree with the decisions that have been made by CityCouncil, there has been an enormous amount of change within the cityover the past three years. City Hall had a face-lift, the Enerplexwas built, roads were paved, streetlights installed, several seniormanagers within the city were let go, new managers hired, and, taxeswere raised. Like it or not, the city is drastically different todaythen it was three years ago at this time… Directing and managingthat kind of change is never easy, and you’re never going to please
everyone. Do I agree with all of the decisions this council has made?Nope. Do you? Probably not. Were they made in the best interest of thecity at the time the decision was made? That is for the voters of Fort
St. John to judge on November 15th.
According to a poll we ran a few days ago on Energeticcity.ca, thiscurrent council is sitting at a 25% approval rating. However, wouldeveryone agree that the city is 75% worse than it was three years ago?
I’m not so sure.
We’ve got two people that are throwing their hat into the ring forMayor, three new candidates for Councillors, and what seems like a mobof angry voters ready to "get rid of em’".
We’ve never seen the majority of these angry "mob" voters at a publicmeeting, getting involved, or throwing their own hat into the ring forelection… but, we sure hear from them complaining about the poor jobof those we’ve elected.
You may not have always agreed with the decisions that your parentsmade when you were 16, but you know now, they generally had your bestinterests at heart.
And so, the voters of Fort St. John have a big decision to make.However, we’ve all got to keep this quote in mind when making our decision or complaining;
"The biggest argument against democracy is a five minute discussionwith the average voter" – Sir Winston Churchill
Let’s prove ol’ Churchill wrong, and become involved, look at the bigpicture, give constructive feedback and input, and, ultimately supportthose that we believe can lead us through the next three years. Let’snot make our voting decisions be made in haste, spite or in anger. Pullback, look at the big picture, and do what is right for our communityat large.
And hey, Fort St. John… are we up for a REAL challenge? Let’s getout and actually cast our ballots this time. If we have anything to be ashamed of, its the 26% voter turn out in the 2006 election, and the even worse 9% turnout for the 2006 by election. We can do better.
The Issues And Answers Blog is written by Andrew Tylosky of Motion Media, one of the parent companies behind Energeticcity.ca. Andrew hosts the radio show and podcast Issues and Answers on 100.1 Moose FM every Monday morning. He also sits on the Board of Directors of Sci-Tech North and the Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce, and enjoys long walks on the beaches of Charlie Lake when he isn’t busy scheming up ways to improve the Energetic City. Andrew can be reached by email at andrew@energeticcity.ca or by phone at 250-663-8751.