District of Houston mayor Shane Brienen is urging Houston residents to turn out to the polls for this month’s council elections, saying that municipal government is becoming a more important part of people’s lives.
“Voting in municipal elections is a way to have your say in your community and unless you move for work frequently the community you live in is where you will spend the majority of your time. Your daily experiences and levels of service in the place you live really do greatly depend in a lot of ways on the people elected in your area to represent you,” said Brienen.
“This I believe becomes more important each election cycle as the federal and provincial governments continue to pass more and more responsibilities on to local governments. The people you elect determine how your community and region move forward today and tomorrow.”
Brienen is returning to office by acclamation to serve a third term as mayor.
That factor, as well as having the area’s two school trustees and the rural area’s regional district director also being chosen by acclamation, tends to dampen voter turnout, he acknowledged.
“Please do not use this as an excuse to not vote,” Brienen continued.
“I strongly encourage all eligible voters to show up at the polls and have your say in who will be the next elected Council to continue representing and leading our community.
“Get out and vote. Remind family and friends to vote. Brag that you voted on social media. Please vote.”
He said Houston residents are passionate about issues and that while each person’s passion may be different, voting helps “ensure that our community is represented by a group of people who will listen to your passions and concerns and consider them when making decisions.”
Advanced voting takes place today, Oct. 5, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Houston municipal office.
General voting day is Oct. 15 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and it is being held at the Houston Community Hall.
The seven candidates for the six District of Houston council seats are Tom Euverman, Rebecca Hougen, Lisa Mueller, Troy Reitsma, Tom Stringfellow, Daphne Tofsrud and Jonathan Van Barneveld.