Letter: How about a candidate residency requirement?

The cost of a municipal byelection is a very small budget item when you consider the benefits of electing to higher office a longtime resident who knows our local issues, says the letter writer.

The Editor,

Re: “Congrats on saying ‘No’ to candidates who would leave their junior jobs” (Letters, The Tri-City News, Nov. 14).

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I was surprised to read letter writer Bob Elliott’s assertion that those already elected to serve at one level of government should be disqualified from being a candidate at a different level in a future election. No one, including Coquitlam Coun. Bonita Zarrillo, knew last October when the municipal elections were held that former MP Fin Donnelly would announce in December that he planned to retire.

There will always be those who wish to expand their public service as a result of unexpected circumstances. Their current governing experience should be counted as an asset and not used to prevent them from representing our area in another forum.

The cost of a municipal byelection is a very small budget item, especially when you consider the benefits of electing to higher office a longtime resident who knows our local issues and already has experience advocating for us to provincial and federal governments.

I suggest to Mr. Elliott that a more important issue to be considered is whether a candidate residency requirement should be implemented to prevent a self-serving opportunist from parachuting at the last minute into a distant community for the sole purpose of furthering her political ambitions. A residency requirement would elevate the quality of our elected representatives far more than trying to block from running those candidates like Coun. Zarrillo who have already demonstrated their genuine commitment to serving our residents.

Linda Asgeirsson, Coquitlam

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