Editor’s note: The Current has received the following letter from a reader.
Municipal elections are now upon us and the Township of Madawaska Valley is no different. Signs are being put up all over the municipality not only to remind us who we can vote for but to encourage us to get out and vote. Making an informed decision will impact our municipality for the next four years. It is important to know your candidates, their views on matters that concern you, and to ask questions and express your own opinions, so that they themselves know what could be expected of them. Geographically, our municipality is large and reaching residents, both seasonal and year round, can be difficult. We live in a digital world … so why not use the internet!
The Madawaska Valley Current has set up an online Municipal Election “Town Hall” forum to encourage residents and ratepayers to pose questions to the candidates that are of concern, regarding our Municipality. The candidates then have the opportunity to express their opinions and views on each of the topics that are posted. I see The Current acting as a conduit between the two parties, providing information not only to the candidates but also back to the electorate.
All candidates are participating in this Town Hall except for three: Mayor Love and Councillors Maika and Peplinski. It is public knowledge that The Current and some members of Council did not, shall I say, see “eye to eye” on certain matters since The Current newspaper, online and print versions, began in January 2018. Participating in this forum gives these candidates the opportunity to reach out to a large number of rate payers and residents, and answer questions that concern everyone. Not only does this give them an opportunity to present their agendas but it also allows them to explain some decisions that were made during the past four years. Sometimes, that is all people want … a simple explanation!
So, WHY THE BOYCOTT? To Councillors Maika and Peplinski, one, or maybe both of you, could be elected to council next term. Does it mean that, by not responding, we can’t hold you accountable? Or is it, because you could be guaranteed a seat on council, you feel you are not obligated to answer questions? You are all being paid by our tax dollar and all readers are asking is that you respond, irregardless of the media outlet. Step up to the plate, put aside your differences, be responsible and use every opportunity to express your views and opinions so that we, the electorate, can make an informed decision in the coming election. Show us that you will represent the WHOLE of the municipality. You should be uniting not dividing!