Time to run for office
Thursday, January 24, 2013
The filing period for town offices has opened and we hope that a lot of people sign up for the important offices. The election day is March 12, for those of us who bother to vote in local elections. A lot of people don’t, which is a shame and shameful.
Yes, yes, we’re all busy and, gee, we have to go to work on Tuesday so we’d have to vote after work and dinner’s waiting and “Inside Edition” is on and we might have to stand in line and ...
Oh, we’ve all got lots of excuses.
The fact is, though, the decisions made by our local officials can have a much greater effect upon our lives than those made by our “representatives” in Washington. The quote marks are around “representatives” because as far as we can see, too many of them represent someone other than us, whoever that might be. Perhaps their corporate sponsors.
Anyway, it’s important that we vote, but it’s also important that sensible, thinking people run for office. Many do; many don’t.
There are two problems when one is a local selectman or School Board member, for instance:
1. It’s a lot more work than one would expect. You don’t just show up on a Monday night and vote on something. You have to read a lot of official papers and you have to understand them. You have to deal with the public. You have to sometimes answer uncomfortable questions (is anyone thinking right now about the selectmen in Amherst who, at this writing, weren’t answering those involving Town Administrator Jim O’Mara) and you have to serve on committees and be willing to put in some night hours.
2. The public doesn’t always appreciate what our officials do and sometimes is less than kind in dealing with them. It can get nasty and that’s not always comfortable.
We have nothing but admiration for the folks who choose to run for office, even when we disagree with the decisions they make, because we know how hard it is to do the job.
Let’s support them as much as we can, first by taking our obligation to vote seriously, and then by treating them with respect, even when they do something we are convinced is bone-headed.