While elections can be fun and exciting to cover, they are also exhausting and often frustrating. Personally, I’m glad municipal elections only happen every four years; I need those four years to recover.
I think I can speak for my colleagues in the local news media when I say we have been run off our feet for the last four to six weeks, attending forums, writing candidate profiles and covering the inevitable controversies that spring up before an election. I’m glad it’s over.
One of the most frustrating parts of covering an election, while also being a resident of this community, is not being able to voice my own feelings on the candidates except in the privacy of my own home or in the newsroom. I’ve seen some pretty outrageous things posted on social media but I’ve had to sit on my hands and not respond, even when my news agency is being attacked. That’s not easy and it’s not fun.
There’s been lots I could say in response to being called “fake news” or “selective journalism” but part of being in the media is understanding getting into keyboard wars online is counter-productive and futile. Don’t get me wrong; it still grates on all of us.
It’s also been frustrating to watch as people post online how they can’t find information about the candidates or the election. It’s deflating when we’ve been working so hard to provide that information. We’re not going to spoon feed it to you, though; you have to put in some of the effort to go find it. It’s on our websites, it’s on the City’s website, it’s on the candidates’ websites.
Airdrie is at a crossroads and the new council is going to have its work cut out for it. Our infrastructure hasn’t kept up with growth and continuing to approve low, low tax rate increases is not going to be sustainable. We have to pay for what we want – I’m amazed at the number of people who don’t understand that very simple concept. It is a courageous person who steps up and agrees to run for council and I applaud all of the candidates for putting it on the line, win or lose.
Come November, my colleagues and I will be back at the media desk in council chambers covering council meetings and doing our best to get that information out to residents. All we ask is that you read what we write, question something when you don’t think it’s right and get involved yourself. Don’t wait until the next four years is up and you’re unhappy.
Congratulations to the new Airdrie City council and to the Airdrie representatives on the Rocky View Schools Board of Trustees. Now get to work.