LETTER:Voter turnout will improve chances for a better council

On October 24, 2022, the citizens of PEC will go to the polls to elect their next council – an important democratic right allowing us to decide our future. We’ve all rolled our eyes when the very mention of our council comes up at a dinner party, a BBQ or even while sitting in a dentist’s office – the topic always brings a laugh. All too often, we also feel embarrassed and angered by Council.

Seriously, it is time we change this reaction to the people who determine the quality of the place where we live – who we elect is important and only you can do it! We need to increase the voter turnout – from a measly 40 to 80 per cent or better. I don’t like it when the minority rules the majority – and I hope you don’t either! It is time the true voice of the people be heard – not only the voice of those who have financially benefitted – like developers, construction companies, business people, absentee landlords, and tourists. It is time for the people of PEC to take back their community by electing people who will “really” represent their concerns.

It seems that no one wants all of this development – yet it is happening. There is no meaningful discussion between Council and the public on any of the issues that we care about – why? The idea that development will encourage affordable housing is a ruse. No developer will do us a favour by building us a cheap house. We need upper levels of government to subsidize house building – this is the only way for it to happen. Yet our Council continues down the path of no return. We have all heard and have made complaints about high water rates, high taxes, high volume of tourists that very few benefit from, endless downtown improvements, while the rest of the County is ignored. The actions by Council (for years) to manipulate the size council is truly shameful – yet they continue on knowing that our governance model could be greatly improved and cheaper to run. It appears that our politicians are going in the opposite direction of what the public wants. This election can stop this – if you vote for change!

I have had many tell me they phoned or emailed a member of council and never received a response.Communicating with the public is a basic part of the job – yet so many of our councillors are poor at it. Since the last election, Sophiasburgh Councillor Bill Roberts has refused to answer my email questions.

Due to his response to one of my emails (four years ago), his own Council reported him to the Integrity Commissioner. The Commissioner found Councillor Roberts to be in violation of the Code of Conduct – “for using abusive and loutish name calling on a resident.” For me, Councillor Roberts does not display the values nor strength of character I want to see on Council. I will be voting for change!

Despite not receiving responses from my own Sophiasburgh councillor, I feel it only fair to thank Picton Councillor McNaughton and Ameliasburgh Councillor Bolik for responding in a professional manner to my email questions. If you have concerns about the current Council, and the changes taking place in PEC, then do something about it – VOTE for change! Make your voice heard by voting.

Every position on Council is being contested – YOU HAVE A CHOICE! We will have a better council because of your participation on Election Day!

Dennis Fox