City council, school board election is important

Published 10:14 am Monday, October 3, 2016

Our View

The November election is just weeks away — November 8. In addition to the presidential election and legislative races, Elizabethton voters will choose three council members and three school board members.
While this especially long presidential primary season has felt like running a marathon in broken heels, Elizabethton voters need to shake off their summer slumber and keep an eye on the November finish line. The presidential contest is important, but the upcoming city election is as important.
Four persons are seeking the three school board seats, they being Jeanette Clark, Rita Booher, Phil Isaacs and Dr. Grover May. Booher, Isaacs and May are the incumbents.
Five candidates are seeking the three council seats up for grabs in this election, they being incumbents Curt Alexander, Robert “Bob” Cable, and Jeff Treadway who are joined on the ballot by Kim Birchfield and Jenett Morgan.
Signs have gone up in city neighborhoods, reflecting the interest in several races, especially for council and city judge.
During the next few weeks it is important for voters to look closely at the candidates and make a responsible choice.
City elections matter. Who you elect to run your city is something that will impact you for years to come. We’ve somehow convinced ourselves it’s more important to wage the good fight between all things red and blue at the national level than to pay heed to what’s happening in our own political footprint.
Yet, at the end of the day, the decisions local voters make about local candidates in local races are where we can truly have our voices heard and our votes count. It’s where the democratic process is most noticeable and most essential.
Local voters wield great power when it comes to shaping the world we live in. Not just because we have the right to cast one of the hundreds of millions of votes that will decide who becomes the next president, or matters of policy and law that are ultimately decided at the national level.
As awesome as that responsibility is for us as Americans, it oftentimes will pale in comparison to the decisions being made week in, week out by our political representatives in our own backyards.
If your have children, you are interested in your child’s school. If you are a property owner, you want to know what your tax rate is and how that tax money is being spent. The men and women we elect to City Council and the school board determine our tax rate and how public monies are spent. School board members decide school policies.
If you are not registered, you can’t participate in the November election. You still have time to be part of the process by registering to vote before Oct. 10.
It’s crucial to learn as much as possible about the candidates — their vision for our city and schools, their character and integrity, and their reasons for seeking the office. Is it for community service or self-service?
Municipal elections matter. Don’t make the mistake of letting this one pass by without your input.
Tip O’Neil, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, once said, “All politics is local!” Every election and every vote counts at the local level.

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