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The Mississauga News - Oct 4, 2006 Wed. - By Joseph Chin

Municipal election attracts 140 candidates

(Mississauga) - With nominations closed for the 2006 municipal election, 140 candidates are off and running in a six-week race for the mayor's chair, 11 City Council seats and 16 positions on the school boards.

Mississauga has changed enormously in the past decade, and now sits at a very important crossroads in its development. As the city transitions from a suburban to an urban community, sound political leadership is needed, which makes this election especially significant.

Residential intensification, public transportation and gridlock are some of the challenges awaiting the new Council. Then there's education, health, safety and the environment.

In coming years, the City of Mississauga will need to adjust service levels to meet the needs of an aging population. Libraries, recreation and parks programs, fire and emergency services and transit will have to be studied. At the same time, the City has to continue providing services to its younger population.

All this comes at a time when Mississauga is approaching build-out and revenue from taxes is decreasing. Although the city will continue to grow for many years, assessment growth and revenues associated with development are declining.

This particular election is notable for the expansion of City Council from a mayor and nine councillors to a mayor and 11 councillors. That means at least two new faces will be sitting around the Council table.

Another important change is that Council and school board trustee terms are four years, up from three, effective this election.

Are municipal elections important? You bet.

When you vote, you are selecting representatives who will make the bylaws and policies that determine how our municipality functions and how we live together.

Local government is involved in many aspects of our daily lives, from fixing roads, running public transit and supporting the arts to providing electricity and books for us to read.

The City works with Peel Region to collect garbage, protect citizens and deliver social services.

Trustees are responsible for the smooth functioning of schools.

Candidates will soon be at your door and button-holing you at bus and train stations, so be ready for them with questions. All-candidates meetings provide another opportunity to get to know candidates.

If you find someone you feel passionately about, and would like to ensure their message reaches the community, you can volunteer to join their campaign team. At a minimum, though, be sure to vote.

If you are unable to vote on Nov. 13, there are a number of advance voting dates and locations. These are listed on the City's website at

Perhaps due to the lack of a strong mayoral race, voter turnout in Mississauga for recent elections has been low (19.9 per cent in 2003, which is less than half the provincial average).

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