Once again, the people have spoken, or was it a whisper, as voter turnout was reported to be 33.5 per cent.
What does it take to motivate the electorate to get out and vote, especially this year, with numerous contentious issues that generated a lot of letter writing and complaining, and the general feeling that things had to change?
Well, something changed all right, five of the seven incumbents were returned to council, with one councillor’s seat vacant at the time of the election. And Mike Pearce, the straight shooter, the tell-it-like-it-is guy, was defeated.
Mike has a way with words that it seems people don’t appreciate anymore, and that is no sugar-coated fluffy statements and bafflegab we get from most politicians that generally leave us wondering what they said and what their position is on an issue. Mike’s position was always clear, with no hidden agenda.
Unfortunately, it looks like we are in for more bafflegab unless our new councillors, Wes Hopkin and Helena Konanz, step up to the plate and don’t start out wondering how they are going to get elected again. Mike, thank you for your years of service to our community.
In regards to voter turnout in Penticton, 8,589 of the 25,362 eligible voters took the time to vote. Where were the other 16,773 that didn’t bother to vote? I am pretty sure they all weren’t headed south for the winter, as even the ducks and geese stick around. Maybe they all went shopping in Kelowna for the day, or down to Oroville. Maybe they just don’t care and are completely satisfied with their lives, unconcerned about property taxes, our stagnant population and the lack of job opportunities for our children, and the overall financial health of Penticton.
Unfortunately, we are no different than most municipalities in that we don’t seem to care anymore, which is reflected in our voter turnout.
I truly hope that the next civic election will show that Penticton is different, and does care, and that a majority of eligible voters will show up at the polls.