By George “Bud” Scholl, Mayor
(Thursday, August 30, 2018) – Our municipal elections have staggered four-year terms. This means that three of our five elected positions (Mayor and residential area Commission seats 2 and 4) will be up for election this year. In two years, two positions (residential area Commission seats 1 and 3) will be up for election.
The City Charter was designed this way to ensure continuity to our City Commission. Staggered terms make sure that the Commission is not composed of all newly elected officials in the same year. Who governs our City has a major impact on the direction of our community and how our City is managed. While a lot of us do not exercise our right to vote, many of us vote but do not spend the time to familiarize ourselves with the candidates on the municipal and county level. We typically have stronger feelings about governor, senate, congress and presidential races. Perhaps this is because of intense press coverage and that these are partisan races, meaning candidates run with a political party affiliation.
Our municipal and county elections are non-partisan. Often voters are the least familiar with these candidates, however, municipal and county elected officials can have some of the most direct impact on our quality of life. So, before you vote, take some time to familiarize yourself with the backgrounds of the candidates and their positions. Typically, registered voters will receive a lot of mail from candidates. Additionally, our local newspapers will run articles in print and online describing candidates in most local races. Finally, there are usually local activities devoted to candidate forums and debates.
Look out for these as they will be some of the best opportunities to meet and hear from your local candidates, which will enable you to make an informed voting decision. In the end, the most important outcome of election season is not who wins or loses; it is that all of us exercise our right to vote for the candidates of our own choosing.