This may be most vital thing you do this fall

Over the last four years we’ve seen many citizens disgruntled with one thing or another being done by our municipal governments.

Between the Municipality of North Cowichan, the City of Duncan, the Town of Lake Cowichan and the Cowichan Valley Regional District there’s been lots to report about.

From taxes to skate parks, gravel operations to town beautification, there has been plenty of interest – often loud – in municipal affairs this term.

But we thought the same thing last term, too. And yet, when it came time for people to cast their ballots at the polls, to actually choose who was going to be making the decisions on these issues they were so het up about, people didn’t show up.

Some did, of course, but turnout was generally pathetic. That’s why we applaud One Cowichan for taking the bull by the horns and starting early to try to engage people in the public process.

It’s a bit sad that we have to try to explain to people why it’s important for them to vote, but if that’s what it takes to get a decent number of voters out, then that’s what we should all be doing.

The fall elections are about shaping the future of our Cowichan Valley communities. What could possibly be more important than that?

This is where we live, play, work, and ideally, prosper.

There are big decisions on our horizon.

We cannot go another year without doing something to try to fix the problems in the Cowichan watershed, for example. The river cannot be allowed to continue to run so dangerously low in the summer.

What we do about that will be decided by the people elected in November.

There is the issue of moorage on our coastline. There are the economic challenges facing communities from Lake Cowichan to Chemainus – how will we respond? There are air quality problems to address.

And of course there will be many issues we have not even conceived of yet.

So as the candidates begin to declare themselves, take a few minutes and familiarize yourself so that when the day comes, you’re ready to mark your X.