For career politicians, facing an election every four years might seem inconvenient.
For town council members, however, four years could seem simply too long. So residents may find it difficult to persuade people to run for office.
That's the view of Terry Kerkhoff, mayor of Picture Butte.
"Four years is a long time in the fast-paced world we live in," he feels.
The long-time educator says he'd already decided not to seek another term, before the provincial government announced it was stretching city and town council members' terms. They'll now serve four years - in effect, the same as members of the legislature and Parliament - instead of the three-year term Kerkhoff and all other Alberta council members will be completing this fall.
"If I had been sitting on the fence, I probably wouldn't have run," he says - because of the four-year commitment.
Members of other town councils may be making the same decisions, Kerkhoff says.
"Small towns really struggle to get volunteers to serve on their council," he points out.
"This may be an influencing factor," he suspects. "There's never 12 people running for six seats."
Three years ago, the mayor says, Picture Butte didn't have enough declared candidates on nomination day.
"We had to scramble."
School divisions also will face the same problem, he fears. Trustees' terms have also been stretched to four years.
What's worse, Kerkhoff says, they have to face irate parents' concerns even though the province gives them little power.
"They're in a thankless position."
For new members of council, he says, the first year will be a learning curve. Then newcomers understand their role and get more involved in issues.
"By the end of the third year, they may begin to sag," and that's when they decide whether to retire or run again. Kerkhoff fears some people won't have enough energy for the fourth year.
"But I could be wrong!"
Larger communities could see less impact, suggests Coaldale Mayor Kim Craig. There hasn't been a shortage of people interested in serving on council.
Craig says few people who decide to run for council plan to quit after their first term.
"If they're serious about serving, they could run for two or three terms."
So their time on council would be measured in years, not terms.
"Four years is a good time to learn the job."