Letter to the editor 1, Nov. 2, 2017

‘L’Obsession du Citoyen’

Dear Editor,

This is the title of a book I read when I was councillor for Hudson several years ago. It was published by the Réseau Québécois des Villes et Villages en Santé, a non-profit organization whose members work on improving the quality of life of their citizens. It impressed on me that citizens should always be at the centre of the decision process and that the health and well-being of these people are really the raison d’être of public service.

Several years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) hired two sociologists, Trevor Hancock and Leonard Duhl, to research and define what constitutes a ‘healthy’ community. After looking at various places, they came away with the feeling that a healthy community is one which is constantly improving the physical and social environment for its citizens. They also underlined that civic health doesn’t refer to merely the physical aspects of a place – such as clean water, decent shelter, enough food to eat – but it also refers to a place in which the citizens have a voice. Humans have a real need to be heard and listened to, and this contributes to their mental wellbeing.

As you are marking your ballot November 5, I respectfully suggest you ask yourself which candidate, in your opinion, has this passion for true civic health (in all the tangible and intangible aspects), and is obsessed in putting the citizen at the core of all decision making. Regarding the incumbents asking you to trust them for another four years, please ask yourself: do you feel that they put you first? Do you feel that you were listened to and your concerns addressed? Did they communicate well with you? Do you feel they had your best interests at heart when they raised their hands to vote at council meetings? Do you feel they made a difference in your quality of life?

Make your vote count on Election Day.

Diane Piacente

Former Hudson Town Councillor and Interim Mayor

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