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Charla Huber: Fall brings pumpkin spice and election announcements

In the next week or so, we’ll be inundated with announcements and candidates’ names posted throughout the region’s 13 municipalities
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Municipal election signs fill the corner of Dallas Road and Cook Street this week. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Well now it feels like fall. The kids are back in school, pumpkin-spiced beverages and baked goods are widely available, and work events and conferences are ramping up. With fall comes routine, something that I am looking forward to.

The chaos of unstructured summers days with children and a hectic work schedule can be tough to manage. Keeping on top of things and balancing them with family time can lead to sneaking in work at all hours — and can feel overwhelming.

Fall feels like a good opportunity to settle into routine and get things done. As we get back to more standard Monday-to-Friday workdays, we’re also ramping into the municipal election.

Candidates are announcing their intentions to run, and signs have been popping up on roads. In the coming week or so, we’ll be inundated with announcements and names posted throughout the communities.

I am a big election nerd and I always have been. I love following election campaigns, hearing people’s ideas, and watching how they reach out to the public hoping to garner support and votes.

My interest in elections began when I was in the fourth grade and our class was learning about the three levels of government: municipal, provincial and federal.

I was fascinated about how each level works within the system, what responsibilities fall under each level, how it all fits together, and the process of selecting people to do the jobs.

When I was a community newspaper reporter, I loved covering elections, from start to finish. Covering municipal elections was always my favorite — I think because there are lots of community players involved and it seems more personal. Less about parties and more about individuals

In Greater Victoria, we have 13 municipalities, with mayors, councillors and school-board trustees vying for spots, or hoping to hold onto current positions. In a city with a small-town feel, chances are you will know at least a few candidates putting their names forward.

It might sound like I am setting up a column about the need for amalgamation, but that’s not the case.

As an observer, I find it interesting to see how candidates in the variety of communities promote themselves. Our region isn’t super large, but each community has its own goals and priorities. Someone running in Victoria will have a very different platform from someone running in Metchosin, for instance.

I can’t imagine it would be easy to run or put your name forward for public scrutiny. (Even with this column, I get questionable emails from people criticizing me in a variety of ways.)

That’s what happens when you do something publicly and to some extent it’s to be expected, but I encourage everyone to remember kindness when it comes to this election and the people who are stepping up.

We are bound to have some big changes in this election, and I also find that very interesting. Some key players are not running again and that will lead to a significant turnover on some councils. Whether it’s for the better or worse, only time will tell.

I know not everyone is an election nerd like me, but I encourage you to learn about people running in your area. This is going to be an important election and I am a firm believer that if you don’t vote, you can’t complain.

charlahuber@outlook.com

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