Madawaska Valley Mayor Kim Love opened the Nov. 5 Council meeting with the following address, which The Current publishes without comment.
In the month of October I travelled and worked an average of 20 hours a week for a total of 87 hours as mayor of MV. I attended six scheduled meetings, three locally and three at the County of Renfrew. In my personal time this month I was busy as a candidate running for re-election. I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to the residents and ratepayers of Madawaska Valley for all their support and encouragement throughout this election. I would also like to thank those who exercised their democratic right and responsibility by voting in this election. Our democracy requires two critically important things: the people who vote and the individuals who are willing to step up and run for office. Running for council is not for the faint of heart especially in our modern world of Facebook and social media. The old fashioned rumour mill has been replaced by a medium which enables rumour and innuendo to be rapidly spread far and wide for all to see and comment on. Candidates for council become targets because they are suddenly considered to be politicians and public figures instead of neighbours and members of our community. I’ve even been told, “You signed up for this” as if enduring the nasty and hurtful things being spread on social media was an expected part of the job of being on council. Some believe these actions have no repercussions. Nothing is further from the truth. They weaken our democracy by deterring potential candidates from signing up to run for council in the future. I’d like to acknowledge the dedication, fortitude and personal commitment of every candidate who ran for council in the recent election and sincerely thank them for their contribution to democracy in our community.