The outgoing Haldimand County council provided Cayuga with three expensive new community facilities, yet the citizens of Cayuga were so displeased that they voted for new representation.

Why? Because the facilities provided were not what the community wanted.

How could the outgoing council not have known that? The answer, at least in part, is that for whatever reason the advisory boards and committees who relay public opinion to council did not function effectively.

The failure of these groups to function effectively led to disaster for the citizens of Cayuga, for the taxpayers of Haldimand County, and for the councillor who lost his seat.

Fortunately, there is something citizens can do to make sure this kind of disaster doesn’t happen again. They can go to, click on “Our County,” then on “Boards and Committees.” They can read through the descriptions, choose a committee that interests them, and apply to be appointed before the November 30 deadline.

There is also something the new council can do. It can appoint its new committees thoughtfully, with a view to qualifications and commitment, not to connections and political patronage—or mere habit.

Communities tend to have the governments they deserve. We can choose to deserve better.

David McClung, Cayuga