Tuesday, October 28, 2003
November is coming around, and that means it's election time again.
Although at first glance it might appear that there is not a lot to decide on this year's ballot, look again. Sure, there are no national, statewide, or even countywide positions to be decided this year.
Those living within the White Salmon city limits, however, have a key choice to make: Who will serve as the city's mayor for the next four years? White Salmon's voters will be deciding whether to re-elect Roger Holen, who has served as mayor for the past eight years, or whether to opt for Linda Jones, who is also campaigning for the right to serve as mayor.
Although the White Salmon City Council makes the final decisions on city ordinances, budget moves, and general policy direction, the mayor's office helps to set a tone and establish a direction for the city. As the city's top executive position, the views of the person in the office are vitally important to White Salmon, so it's equally vital that citizens turn out to make their choice, whatever it may be.
The composition of the White Salmon City Council is also at stake next week. In a late move, current City Council member Tim Stone mounted a write-in campaign to maintain his Position No. 1 council seat against Richard Marx, whose name will be listed on the ballot.
It is not unusual for key issues facing White Salmon to be decided with 3-2 votes of the five-member council. Changing even one representative can make a big difference. Citizens of the community need to make their views known regarding the Marx-Stone contest.
Area school districts have contested races for school board positions, including two seats in Lyle. Recent decisions by the current Lyle School Board have generated controversy, so this is a perfect opportunity for the community to make its views known. There are also two contested school board races in the Klickitat School District. There is little that is more important than educating our kids, and deciding who will set school policy and decide budget issues are critical judgments.
It's true that most of the positions on this year's local election ballots are uncontested. Nevertheless, if you like the job a particular City Council candidate or a Hospital District candidate or some other candidate has done, turn out to register your support. Conversely, if you're not happy with someone's performance in office, then write in someone you believe would do better. Either way, make sure you register your voice.
In addition, there are two statewide ballot measures that will appear, including one that would repeal ergonomics regulations.
Voting is what it's all about in this country. Make your views known -- vote!