by Marianne Friesen
It has been a very long four years!
Four years ago I sat at this very desk with a mountain of paper work staring at me as I tried to decipher what was going on. I had never been involved with elections, other then placing my little ‘x’ in what I considered was the appropriate box.
My, how things have changed. I have become informed and educated in both the good side and bad side of politics. Going to the polls seemed like walking into a final exam without studying, now I am prepared.
I learned a valuable lesson in the past term. The media can be used as a tool for both the positive and negative aspects of municipal politics. I have watched councilors cringe when I walk into a room because they know that I will be watching and waiting. Others greet me with smiles and even hugs.
What is the difference? Attitude! The municipal arena has become a classroom for me. I go to seven classes every month, sometimes twice a month and what do I see? Teachers stumbling along blindly, looking for guidance from the public and being mislead in the process. Others willing to lead and be remembered for the positive attributes they possess.
We have councilors that actually work very hard to make things work for the good of everyone. Then we have others that are determined to cause discontent wherever they go. Municipal politics is not supposed to become personal, but using the RM of Piney as an example, here is a place where there is only one way or the highway.
Agriculture is no longer a means to making a lively hood, it has become a battleground that has turned ugly. And who holds the strings? Our municipal representatives! They are in the position to make or break everything. Without good representation on both sides, how can the ag industry, forestry, water, ANYTHING, be sustained.
We, in the southeast need to plant seeds of growth, watch them bloom and then reap the rewards. Not drown the seedlings before they have sprouted.
I can not honestly say that there are any really bad councilors out there. Every single man and woman that I have had the pleasure of working with during the last term has something that I like and respect. It is disappointing that people will always remember what you did wrong yet have a hard time remembering the good things you have achieved.
For some municipality’s a major change is needed, in others the system works. Whatever the case may be, remember in four years a lot can happen and change is a gradual process.