Many voters, who are taxpayers as well, but should remember they are citizens above all, are often worried about their next property tax bill, the potholes on their street, or the lack of buses - or further reduction of bus service - because that is what is causing them angst today.
And local politicians hear about these concerns regularly and try to balance immediate needs within budgetary constraints, but they are also thinking about long-term growth and development - where we are going to be working, living, and playing in 30 years.
The year 2042 is an abstract concept for many of us, but it appeared on the cover of a recent report that came to Maple Ridge council: Commercial & Industrial Strategy: 2012-2042.
Apparently, there are going to be a lot more people in Maple Ridge in 2042, maybe even 30,000 more local jobs.
The District's job - and that of those bearing the title of "planners" - is to plan well for the future, to make sure there's enough space to shop and enough space for facilities where people can be employed.
The report that came to council, done by land economists G.P. Rollo & Associates, is the first step in this planning process. Next it will be parsed and studied. And then the public will be asked to comment.
What do we want our community to look like in 2042? Where do we want growth? Where is the best place to have employment centres? What will enhance our quality of life?
After the public comments on the commercial and industrial strategy, the politicians will be asked to make wise, informed decisions about the future growth of Maple Ridge.
All citizens should let their voices be heard during this process - if not for us, then for our children and grandchildren who will be around in 2042.
@ Copyright 2013