election feature lighthouse

Hub Staff

Saugeen Shores Hub and The Wismer House have teamed up with Small Star Network to bring your 2018 Saugeen Shores municipal election coverage to the next level.

Sponsored by the Hub and The Wismer House, Small Star Network and volunteer John Van Bastelaar have been busy interviewing participating municipal candidates and creating podcasts in preparation for the upcoming 2018 municipal election.

Each of the 17 candidates running for at-large and ward positions within Saugeen Shores Council were given an opportunity to answer the same five questions in Small Star Network's Port Elgin studio pertaining to the future of - and their vision for - Saugeen Shores.

For Wismer House owner Jeff Carver, he said he has seen a tremendous amount of change and growth in the 10 1/2 years he has had the fortune of calling Saugeen Shores home and believes that over the next ten years that pace is only going to intensify.

"This municipal election is going to task nine of our fellow citizens with the incredible task of shaping Saugeen Shores in ways that will have implications for decades to come," said Carver, adding that in joining the podcast project his hope is to assist in encouraging as many people as possible to cast a vote and make their voice heard. "Voting really can, and does, make a difference," he said.

For Hub owners Matthew Joyce and Kiera Merriam, they see the impact of an involved community and the difference it can make in municipal affairs. "We see a high level of engagement through our articles and stories on the Hub covering matters in and around Saugeen Shores," said Merriam.

"It's a community that cares and citizens want to have a say in how Saugeen Shores moves forward," she said. "It's important to know who your candidates are before casting a vote. We hope that this project will help people gain the information they need to make an informed choice."

John Van Bastelaar, who has volunteered his time to interview the participating candidates and is no stranger to municipal politics himself said he believes Saugeen Shores is at a crossroads. "With such opportunities available to us now and in the future we need leadership that can play a visionary role for our future success," he said, adding that informed voters are key to bringing such people to Saugeen Shores Council. "Voters that understand the issues and get out and vote for the best leaders," Van Bastelaar said.

Small Star Network owner Brad Smith hopes that through his podcast project residents of Saugeen Shores will take the time to learn about the people that will shape the future of Saugeen Shores. "In the year 2018, we deserve to be able to put a face, and personality, to the name," said Smith. "Video seemed to be the obvious choice for delivering the candidates to residents," he said.

Smith said he hasn't seen this done before in a municipal election and hopes the project will also inspire other communities. "After all, it is the people who should shape government - not the other way around," he said.

Saugeen Shores Hub will be publishing the podcasts, accompanied by candidate profiles, in the coming days, followed by our Ask a Candidate feature where we asked you, our readers, to send us the questions you care most about.

Keep an eye on Saugeen Shores Hub for all your 2018 municipal election coverage.