Municipal elections will be taking place this fall and many community leaders involved in this level of politics is rethinking their plan to let their name stand for another term.

Boissevain-Morton Head of Council, Judy Swanson, is Chair of the Western Caucus of Municipalities.  At their most recent conventions, Swanson heard that about half of elected officials won't be seeking re-election.

Swanson shares that many are seeing an increase in negative feedback from their own community, and instead of building relationships and the community as a whole, they're seeing community breakdown instead.

Being mayor, reeve or councillor is a difficult job, she says, and many are not understanding just how difficult that is.

"There's a lot of decisions that are made and it becomes personal, when it shouldn't be," explains Swanson.  "It's a decision of a council, that is elected," she adds. "So, after awhile people go, 'I don't need this anymore. I don't want to do this anymore.'"

"That's what I hear here at the table, and that's unfortunate, because there are a lot of really good people who are sitting around this table right now, with a lot of history, that will be gone."

Swanson says the combination of the pandemic and social media has played a part in the decline of support for the local elected.

"I think the pandemic gave us all 'masks' and we felt we were able to say and do anything we wanted because we're not face to face," she shares.  "I mean, you hear it in an email, you hear it on Facebook, you hear it all over the place, and nobody really comes to you and says what they need to say, directly.  And, when they do it's not always done with respect."

"We have one Reeve here who continually has garbage thrown at the end of his lane.  What is that? And so why then would one want to step up in a community and try to move it forward?"

"Nobody is asking you to respect us 100% of the time, but I think the average person should be able to respect the fact that we're doing the best we can, and its not always easy," adds Swanson.