The work is done. Now it comes down to the numbers. Win or lose, it’s been a meaningful few weeks of campaigning. I enjoyed meeting new people and visiting with familiar faces. Am thankful to my neighbours, my friends and mostly my family for being such good sports about the whole thing.
See you after the polls close. A few numbers to keep in mind as you head to the ballot box.
Population of Salmon Arm 17,085
Number of eligible voters (est) 12,982
Ballots cast in 2011 5,108
Voter turnout 39%
City of Salmon Arm budget (est) $30,000,000
Number of households 7,700
Median Earnings (2010) $38,147
Median Age 48.2
Candidates for Mayor 4
Candidates for Council 15
Number of votes it takes to make a difference? One.
Now – with two days to go until the vote is finalized – is a good time, in my view, to thank all the candidates and their dedicated support teams for running. We all want to cross that finish line, look up at the time clock and see that we’ve made the cut. Truth is, only one mayoral candidate and six councillors will make it in Salmon Arm. But we’ve all run a race and for that, we should all be proud. It’s hard work. And I won’t lie. I’m a bit tired and a bit nervous but I know I can find it within me to make that final push to the finish line. I know this of my fellow candidates too. It’s important to me that citizens recognize the commitment and dedication of those who run for public office, win or loose.
But mostly, it’s important for candidates to recognize that the electorate is monitoring the race, keeping time, making decisions, weighing options, asking questions and getting informed.
As a candidate, I am grateful to you. Your job is more important than ours. We are the runners. You are the time clock.
I want to thank everyone who’s stopped me on the street, at the grocery store, in the school yard and around town. Your support is important to me and much appreciated.
Some might say that the candidates have the biggest role to play in an election. I happen to think that role belongs to the voters.
There’s plenty to do between the time when candidates file their nomination papers and voting day.
A few things come to mind.
1) Do your research
Most candidates have an online presence of some kind. Your district or municipality has a website. Research the issues that are important to you. Check out budgets, meeting minutes, reports. There’s plenty to keep you informed.
2) Ask questions
Candidates are happy to take questions and comments. They’ll answer your e-mails or even meet you for coffee. Go ahead. That’s what we’re here for.
3) Share your stories
The time you spend discussing the election with friends and family are important conversation we need to have. I’ve seen some great discussions on facebook. I wish we could engage with one another like this in between elections rather than just during them.
4) Adopt a non-voter
Chances are, more than half of your friends and family don’t vote – only 40% of us did last time. Consider helping a non-voter find the information they need to learn about the candidates and get to the polls
In all likelihood, if you’re reading this, that’s pretty much a guaranteed thing. So thanks for that.
I filed my nomination papers today to run for councillor in Salmon Arm.
I’m running because I believe in Salmon Arm. As a mom, business owner, community volunteer and resident of Canoe, I know we can do great things together.
I’ve always had a deep interest in community, politics, economics and the arts. The choice to run is driven by a willingness to do the job that needs to be done and to represent fellow citizens at the council table.
I believe Salmon Arm could be the most liveable city in BC and a place at council is for me, a viable way to help make that happen.
Living in Salmon Arm has taught me many things. Being a neighbour is about more than sharing a property line. Treating people like family extends beyond the comforts of home. Success in business is about the front line as much as the bottom one.
As I watch my children grow, my business expand and my community evolve, I want to make sure we meet our obligations, our expectations and our aspirations.
There’s room for new thinking; for the dreams of our young people, the needs of our seniors, the prosperity of our community and the sustainability of our environment.
With an open door, an open mind and an open heart, there’s room for us all.