It’s heartening to see the number of people who have stepped up to run for a local office that is up for election in the April 9 consolidated municipal elections.
There are at least 18 contested races on the ballot in DeKalb County. It’s likely that wherever you live in the county, there will be a race or an issue that needs to be decided on election day.
Consolidated municipal elections typically don’t draw huge crowds. In the April 2009 election, when the same offices were up, not even 22 percent of DeKalb County’s registered voters cast a ballot. In the last consolidated municipal election in April 2011, voter turnout was dismal, with just 11.53 percent of registered voters visiting the ballot box.
Yet these are the offices that have the biggest immediate impact. Seats that are up for grabs include mayors and city council members, school board members and township offices.
These are the people who, among other things, make decisions about the education of your community’s children, how much you’ll pay in property and other taxes and the direction of your community. The mayoral and village president candidates are the ones who represent your community to the public.
We applaud those who are on the ballot. It’s not easy putting yourself out there to run for an elected office: Criticism comes in downpours, and it’s often hostile.
Members attend hours of meetings each month, and spend more time reading through documents. No one gets rich off these jobs: If they pay at all, it’s minimal in most cases. The ones who take their job seriously also attend community events and talk with constituents.
Now we hope that residents do their part. Find out what offices are on the ballot and educate yourself about the candidates. Ask questions, and demand answers. Attend forums and meetings. In the coming months, the Daily Chronicle will do its part to educate voters.
On April 9, make your voice heard. Vote.