by Andru McCracken, Editor
The voters have had their say and delivered new elected officials to their posts in the Regional District, the school board, the office of mayor in McBride and the mayor and council of Valemount.
I was one of the candidates for mayor in Valemount. Though I am disappointed that I lost, I am satisfied with the results.
It wasn’t my first rodeo and so, prompted by friends and my wife, I had a plan in case it didn’t go my way.
It was pretty simple and took about 15 minutes. I wrote a list of people who understood my vision and supported me. As I went through the list the day before the election I recalled the positive comments and support I received from each of them. The list prevented me from feeling like I wasn’t understood or appreciated by anyone. The truth is I was understood and appreciated by a good number of voters, just not enough to win. The positive vibe combined with some outdoor fun with friends was a great salve for the spirit.
Here are five things that made Valemount’s race outstanding:
- Focussing on the issues. Candidates spent their time focussing on solutions to the problems that beset us as a community. And I don’t think the work that any candidates did, elected or not, will go to waste.
- Great media coverage. VCTV host Michael Peters did a wonderful job quizzing candidates about
the issues that faced Valemount. As the person who records every council meeting, Peters had an amazing handle on the issues and a great grasp of what had been done to date. I believe his informed questions led to good answers.
- Community engagement. A Facebook forum called Issues facing Valemount managed to get quite a
lot of traction. It was a way to gather the thoughts and concerns of people in advance of voting and offered the chance for candidates to think about it and respond. For the most part it was about issues and not personalities.
- The issues the people of Valemount would like council to deal with are very clear.
- Geniality. This election was permeated by a sense of fair play and civility. When the winner and de- feated candidate can meet in the street a day later and shake hands, we all win. It fosters a coopera- tive attitude that has been absent these last four years.
The sting of defeat is a terrible thing to face alone. If you supported someone who didn’t get elected, tell them that you voted for them and why.Don’t voice vitriol or attack the new council. Express your concerns to those elected about issues, just like the candidates did, and if you can, do it with a smile.
The role of the defeated candidates is to support this newly elected council. Differences will arise, and, personally, I won’t be shy to voice dissent, but I know this: if we can carry on in the same spirit of the election, focussing on the issues and how they can be solved, our communities will be better for it.