Who you know, what you know and how you know it ... those are thoughts we have as we go into any election process. But in a municipal election, those decisions are 'cleaner' than in provincial or federal events.
We know most of the players quite well.
Municipal politics is the closest level of government and governance to the people. The mayor is your insurance broker, your kid's soccer coach or your sister's landlord. Your ward councillor might have been a useless waster in high-school. He might even have been a bully, or she might have turned you down for a date or a loan at the car dealership. Another councillor may have helped you change a vehicle tire on a cold winter night three decades ago. Good and bad, we know most of the people who are running in our municipalities. Now it's up to you to balance out the merits and the down-sides.
It's also up to you to determine what is real and what is smalltown rumour.
Unfortunately, one consequence of representing the closest level of voters is the the rumour-mill. And in a small community, that mill spins quickly. Did a candidate go into a grocery store with underwear on his face as a mask as a message about his thoughts on COVID rules? Did a council contender team up with a former mayor to oust a challenger? Did a candidate try to pass off tarragon as fresh dill in their perishke offering at the farmers' market last week?
But the most important question is: Does that matter to you?
Perhaps you like the stance of a certain council hopeful ... perhaps you don't. The point is that you have a direct link in the municipal election. There's no political party, no way that a candidate can hide from their small-town voters. You have a direct say in your direct future. It truly is a great thing to be this close to democracy. Use it.