To the editor:
Municipal elections will be held in just a few weeks. As always, we need to elect the best people possible to direct the government which is our public business and often the largest business in town.
Many people think about running for public office. A few do.
Following are some criteria you should consider as you decide whether to throw your hat in the ring.
Voters will use these same criteria to evaluate you, so be prepared.
These criteria include eight reasons you should not run, five reasons possibly supporting you running and three things you should do after you step forward. These criteria are broken down into five categories.
If you are running to have your name in lights, don’t. Politics is not therapy for a damaged ego.
If you want to be liked by everyone, don’t run. We need people who have the guts to make tough decisions in the face of adversity knowing that you cannot please all of the people all of the time.
If you have to ask for respect, don’t run. You should already command it.
If you are running because you need the money, don’t. We do not want elected officials beholden firstly to their pay cheque.
If you are running because you like to cut ribbons, don’t. We already have too many glad handers in politics.
If you have already held the position for two terms, don’t run. You have had your turn to make a difference. Step aside and allow and encourage new energy to flow in. Do not be a road block. After two terms in any elected position either move up or out.
Do not run to take someone else out. Run for something, not against someone. We already have too much negativity in politics.
If you believe that the bureaucrats should set policy, do not run. You do not understand the system.
Make a difference
If you truly want to make a difference in community and you qualify for the job, then please run.
Politicians are responsible for deciding how the people’s business will be operated. It is usually the biggest business in town as it taxes and spends and sets the rules of conduct for individuals and other businesses alike.
Can you accept responsibility for making decisions without full information when there may be no ‘right’ answer?
Do you qualify to be a cabinet minister? On city council everyone is a cabinet minister.
Would we put you in charge of a multi-million/multi-billion dollar organization trusting you to make wise decisions? We do not want rookies making avoidable and often long-term mistakes on our dollar. We need people with a track record of success.
Do you inspire people?
After you step forward
Tell us what you believe the city should look like when it is all grown up. You only get to build a city once. Saying that you want more bike paths is not a vision.
Tell us what your action plan would be with a time schedule.
Be willing to be held accountable. Remember, when you assume a position of public trust you become public property.
Lorne Beloud, West Kelowna