The signs are almost all down, political advertising is done and yes, the sun came up on Tuesday morning, following the municipal election. The campaign period was substantially longer this year with the nomination period closing in late July and campaigning beginning almost immediately thereafter. It certainly felt like this election campaign had more signs, more advertising and most of all, way too much political rhetoric, than we have been subject to, in prior campaigns.
None the less, the votes have been cast, tabulated and the stage is set for our new Council to take office. The voters in each of the municipalities and school boards, have selected their representatives in each of their communities and those successful in their bids for a seat, will be our voices for the next four years. Whether they were each voter’s individual preference or not, the democratic process is the only one we have, and they will be our community leaders, until the next term. For all those that ran for office regardless of being elected or not, congratulations on stepping forward and letting your name stand.
Now the real work begins. From a Chamber and business perspective, how these Council’s come together and provide clear direction on what is important to them, will be in the writer’s opinion, the key to what we as a business community, can expect. Business creates wealth and that is what drives our economy. It allows employees to feed their families, buy homes and make our communities, what they are. Setting the direction and providing the impetus for retention, expansion and attraction is going to come from those elected officials and I for one, hope they will be singing from the same song sheet.
In the case of North Bay, our eleven elected officials will need to be a much more cohesive group, if we are going to compete against the rest of the world. There is nothing wrong with discourse, providing that it is constructive. It is probably not a stretch to say that the previous council, lacked some of that cohesiveness. That lack of working together, delayed many decisions that were needed to move some very good ideas and projects forward and resulted in frustration by many different factions, within this City. This is the time for our elected officials to heal some of those wounds and move forward together, to grow our City. We all must work together, for that to happen and this is a perfect opportunity for all to do so.
Peter Chirico is the President and CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.