We expect business and industry to be innovative. We are less likely to think about innovation in relation to municipal government. But think what might be possible if citizens expected their municipal governments to be innovative and daring, like entrepreneurs.

Local government touches our lives in so many ways. It is so much more than property taxes, snow removal, and bylaw enforcement.

Apart from fire, policing, water, sewer and other core services, it touches on public transit, recreation, libraries, tourism, trails, built heritage, and making the best use of natural and public spaces, including streetscapes.

Local councils govern planning and development, they manage industrial parks, their policies can guide economic development, and their spending choices shape the community’s quality of life.

Between now and municipal election day on October 15, think about the many ways that local government touches your life. Note those areas where you see opportunities for improvement. Put your ideas to your local candidates and ask questions.

What vision do they have for using municipal assets to create new opportunities for economic development?

Do they have ideas for innovative pilot projects they would like to try out?

How do they expect to engage the community in municipal activities?

Have they been inspired by other communities that have taken a more entrepreneurial approach to municipal government?

Do they think their municipality can do things better, smarter, and with greater benefit to the local community?

Weigh their answers and opinions, size them up as community leaders, and vote!