Someone should do something about the educational system.
Someone should do something about getting more jobs here.
Someone should do something about road conditions.
Someone should. You, dear reader, are that someone. And Tuesday is when you should do it.
There is a general election on Tuesday, and I know there’s a lot of apathy about it. People call it an off-year election, meaning you won’t get to vote for anyone in Washington. Perhaps you should consider that a perk of voting this week.
Many people tend to ignore these elections because they’re not national political races. You’re not electing the people who decide when we go to war or other feats of national policy.
You are, however, choosing the school board that implements policies that affect how your local school district teaches your children.
You are choosing the council members who will decide your community’s tax, water and sewer rates, which could determine if new companies want to move there.
You are choosing the township trustees who will decide which of their roads get maintenance first, including plowing.
That’s not even talking about the numerous levies for schools, fire departments and communities on Tuesday’s ballot. Your vote has the very real power to change the way the government closest to you operates.
I get frustrated when I see the general disinterest people have in this same election every four years. Most areas get to choose the bulk of their councils, school board members and township trustees. They get to pick the people the closest to them whose work most closely affects their daily lives.
I couldn’t help but realize this during the recent partial federal government shutdown. I know the longer it carried on, the more it would affect the lives of people around me. For those three weeks, though, my day-to-day life wasn’t altered all that greatly.
I’ve seen a real change in my life, though, by the belt-tightening where I live after a recent levy request failed. I’m not seeing the friendly neighborhood policeman down my road as often. The potholes could practically swallow my small car before the crews finally fixed them on my street.
I don’t feel too much anger or animosity toward those elected officials here, though: The people spoke when they said they didn’t want to pay more in taxes. The officials warned there would be a degradation in services. There was, and we chose it. I cast my vote, and I accept the will of the people.
It seems like an inalienable right of Americans to complain about what’s wrong with the country. So much of it is a local problem, and we have local remedies. Yes, it would be nice if Washington got its act together and made something meaningful happen. Still, we have the ability to make change happen right here.
Another all-to-easy complaint is you don’t know who the candidates are, or what they believe. We’ve done our part, with candidates answering questions about themselves in our 2013 Voters Guide, produced in partnership with the League of Women Voters online at limaohio.com/elections. If you don’t know where to vote or need a refresher on the ballot items, they’re inside the B section of today’s newspaper.
Someone should do something, all right: You, and on Tuesday. Make your vote count.