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First Words

 

Jane Kelly Fall 2018

WHAT IS IT ABOUT FALL THAT MAKES US TAKE STOCK AND SET OUR GOALS FOR THE DAYS AHEAD? Maybe we’re regenerated after the summer, but whatever it is, come Tuesday after Labour Day weekend, we push the reset button and get ready for what lies ahead.

The politicians who are running in this fall’s municipal election will definitely be first in the September starting gates, ready to get their message out.

I was on municipal council – dare I say it – 25 years ago. They were different times. Alnwick\Haldimand was half the size it is now and the town hall where we met was frozen in time – literally. Snow drifted in through the front door in the winter and until the part-time caretaker popped in the window air-conditioner, we cooked in the summer. The people who sat around that antique council table were a reflection of a rural society that had functioned with little change for decades. They weren’t perfect, but those councillors knew their community and the community knew them. There was often a dozen eggs or a jar of maple syrup on the clerk’s desk, left there by a farmer who had stopped by to catch up on the local gossip. If a meeting ran too long, someone would call across the road to Calder’s Meats and order “the lunch” – a tray of sandwiches that were washed down with cans of pop (Grafton’s version of Uber Eats). Would I ever run for council again? Yup! Not this time around but I have some time left on my side. The lady who sat beside me at the table 25 years ago – Muriel Braham – was in her eighties and she was the conscience of the council.

All this to say that the upcoming municipal election isn’t all about fixing bridges and building roads. It’s about people and engagement in our communities. If your councillor doesn’t know you or if you don’t vote, your voice won’t be heard.

 

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First Words

jane kelly fall 2018

What is it about fall that makes us take stock and set our goals for the days ahead? Maybe we’re regenerated after the summer, but whatever it is, come Tuesday after Labour Day weekend, we push the reset… read more

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hairline wide 865x8CONTRIBUTORS
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hugh brewster

cont1As the author of 14 books on historical themes, Hugh Brewster has also chronicled the lives of several Canadians...

micol marotti

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A former journalist and producer for Media Monkey Productions, Micol Marotti has also worked for the National...

orland french

cont3A veteran writer and journalist, Orland French lives in Belleville with his wife Sylvia. After a journalism career of pursuing…