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Swing vote ramps up stakes in byelection

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

If there’s one thing I disagree with letter writer Vic Leutschaft  about, it is that council could have gotten away with appointing a new councillor to the vacancy they are seeking to fill.

Anyone who has been paying attention has been able to sense the divisions in Dryden city council and where they lie. Last week’s vote on Councillor Mary Trist’s provocative motion to draft a council code of conduct exposed that division once more for anyone who may have had doubts.

At stake in the current vote-by-mail byelection for councillor is the all-important swing vote — a position far too significant in the near-term future of municipal decision-making to simply appoint without provoking justifiable outrage.

The vote-by-mail ballot is a good choice considering the gravity of the outcome and the staying power these divisions have displayed over the past few months.

In my opinion, discerning how each of the seven candidates will respond or ally themselves with the factions that currently exist is the crux of this voting decision.

While candidate banter of being a unifying force in city council sounds nice, I can’t help but feel that that bird may have already flown away.

It grinds my gears of late to hear some councillors talking about how those like myself who put information out into the public are being used and manipulated like pawns to serve political wills.

Granted, there’s always that chance. It’s ever present in the back of our minds, right beside our commitment to act in what we believe to be the best interests of our community.

There’s no doubt it serves the agendas of some elected officials to let such information shape public opinion, just as it serves the agendas of other officials to continue hiding that information from public scrutiny.

Would continuing to keep the scope of the problems at DMTS hidden from the public truly be in Dryden’s best interests? Offer me a compelling argument otherwise that doesn’t make one sound like a total patronizing fascist.

But I digress.

Make your vote count over the next few weeks. Engage your candidates in the public, see where they stand on the issues. More importantly try to figure out where they stand with the present members of council.

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