As of 5 p.m. the 2006 municipal election officially got under way. During the course of the next 45 days, leading up to the November 13 election, local residents will have to determine which 11 people they want to see form the town council for the next four years. (Yes, four years instead of three.) Historically, municipal elections have had all the appeal of an Adam Sandler film festival. Voter turnouts are usually below 40 per cent, meaning that only four of 10 eligible voters actually takes the time to cast a ballot. That's a shameful number. Perhaps it's apathy, laziness or a mindset that "it doesn't matter who you vote for, all politicians are crooks", that pervades municipal elections. Whatever, there is no excuse not to cast a vote. Politics at the municipal level is where the voter can have the biggest impact. Councillors are generally more accessible than their federal or provincial brethren and because they spend every day in the same neighbourhoods as those who elected them, they are more accountable-- or should be. To be sure, being a local politician is not an easy-- or well-paying job. For most, it's a parttime occupation that entails plenty of meetings, late phone calls at home from residents complaining about everything from a pothole to when the road will be cleared of snow. But these candidates know this, or should, when they put their name forth for election. The people we elect in November will determine how our tax dollars will be spent and what direction the Town of Halton Hills will take for the next four years. These 11 people carry an enormous responsibility but it is you-- the voter-- who determines who gets to carry that responsibility. For your sake, and the sake of your town, take the time and learn about your ward, your current councillor's record, the candidates seeking election and make an informed choice on Nov. 13.