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LETTER: Do veteran councillors best serve the public?

'Of Penetanguishene's nine current councillors, over half have been sitting for over 20 years,' notes reader, who thanks them for their service. 'But we need to ask, what have they achieved?'
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MidlandToday welcomes letters to the editor ([email protected]). Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter from Penetanguishene resident Dennis McEntee raises questions about whether long-term councillors effectively serve their citizens.


Dear Editor,

Funny how politicians seeking re-election all boast about their previous council experience as their key strength and the reason why they deserve to be re-elected again and again. That strategy obviously works.

Of Penetanguishene's nine current councillors, over half have been sitting for over 20 years. It's a remarkable commitment of service to our community and we owe them a great deal of thanks for their efforts.

But we need to ask, what have they achieved? It is often said that because of incumbent politicians past experience they are better qualified and, therefore, have an advantage over the newbie. Maybe so, but is length of service the proper measure of qualification? I think no. Qualification and success are best defined by skills and measured by results.

Voters are only given the opportunity to assess the performance of our politicians once every four years.

We're about to mark their report cards in about a month's time by either re-electing them with a pass or sending them along their way. Over the next few weeks while candidates are busy wooing, and schmoozing you for your vote take the time to really understand if they are qualified to represent your views, your needs and your wants.

Do their priorities align with yours?  Will they speak up and stand up for you or will they passively do the bare minimum? If voters want change, the change starts at the top. Continuing with the status quo and expecting a different result is only fallacy. Experience; not so much.

Dennis McEntee