Editor's note: The Chief's weekly editorial reflects the official opinion of the newspaper.
It is time to cull the candidate list, Squamish.
It is a well-worn cliché that a community is only as strong as its most vulnerable, but that is a good mantra to highlight at this late stage of the current Squamish election cycle.
A local government is not a business, as some candidates seem to think. It can’t just shrug at customers who can’t afford what it is offering. A municipality is also not a monolith with only one or two major issues to deal with.
It is a massive and complex system with numerous policies that guide its functioning.
It is also not a library where you can go in unknowing and soak up the knowledge. Squamish’s council roles are fast-paced and require skill, extensive research and understanding.
All this is said to say, it is time for voters to weed out some of the candidates.
Voters should ask themselves if they want Squamish to be a resort for the rich or a place where various socio-economic groups can co-exist and thrive?
Squamish Helping Hands did a great job of asking candidates pointed questions on their Facebook page. Check out the candidates’ answers.
If those running don’t have caring and detailed answers for how to address poverty and vulnerable groups in our community — they should be off your list.
If the candidate is still basing his or her campaign on opposing Woodfibre LNG, then they don’t have a clue how packed a council agenda is or how far that horse is out of the barn — they should be off your list.
If, at this stage in the game, the candidate demonstrates they have not done their research, then they aren’t right for the job. Reading all the major guiding documents on the District of Squamish website should have been priority number one when the decision was made to run for council. If they haven’t done that yet — they should be off your list.
In chambers, members of council will be elbow-to-elbow with each other for more hours than they will be with their families. Think about that. If a candidate is combative, rather than assertive, that is going to be a problem. This is not to say that voters should look at popularity — but can the candidates take criticism, listen and put aside difference for the betterment of the whole? That is someone worthy of office.
The candidates voters choose should be intelligent, caring, calm, able to work well with others, up to speed on the issues in town and able to take a stand on those issues so they can hit the ground running after they are sworn in.
Write down a personalized list of candidates. Analyze it. Like an aquarium, the best governments are diverse and reflect the community. Does your list have women and men as well as people representing different backgrounds? It should.
Finally, voters don’t HAVE to pick six candidates on the ballot. Pick only those who you truly want to see win. Don’t throw away your vote — too much is at stake.