Editorial: Our right; our duty
Editor’s note: Reporter Clay Thorp was unable to attend this week’s Editorial Board meeting and did not participate in the development of this position.
On April 2 — a little more than two weeks from today — Craig voters will be tasked with deciding the makeup of their city government for the next two years.
We’ve editorialized in the past about the importance of voting, especially in local elections, and while electing a mayor and a city council may not arouse the same level of interest and excitement as electing a president and a congress, it is no less important.
In fact, we could argue that — in some ways — it’s more important.
It is our local representatives who make the decisions that most intimately impact our daily lives — how our buildings will be utilized, how our tax dollars will be spent, which projects will move forward, which projects will be put on hold, which entities will be funded, which entities will be left out in the cold.
These are not easy choices, and we deeply appreciate those who are willing to step forward and help make them.
But we have to do our part, too. Just as decisions made at the local level tend to have a greater impact on the community at large, votes cast at the local level tend to have a greater impact on who will ultimately make those decisions.
Think about it: In a presidential election, your vote is one among tens of millions. In a municipal election, that same vote is one among a few thousand.
Which vote stands to make the bigger difference?
That said, we ask two things of you, and neither of them is difficult.
First, we ask that you make sure you’re informed.
Educate yourself about the candidates running for mayor and city council, as well as the issues likely to face our city through the next several years. Then, ask yourself some questions: Which candidates’ values and ideas best align with your own? Which candidates have the knowledge base and experience necessary to effectively perform the job to which they aspire? Which candidates would be more likely to think innovatively about the problems and issues we face and put forth workable solutions?
Many other questions could be added to these, and now it the time to begin looking for the answers. Fortunately, you can find them in a couple of places.
In this week’s editions of the Craig Press, we’ve published question-and-answer interviews with the two candidates for Craig mayor and the six candidates for the three open city council seats.
We urge you to read them.
We also invite you to attend the upcoming Municipal Election Candidate Forum, sponsored by the Craig Press and the Craig Association of Realtors and set to begin at 6 p.m. Monday in the Moffat County High School auditorium. The event will feature every candidate on the April 2 ballot, and most of the questions we’ll be asking were submitted by you, the community.
And if you cannot attend in person, we’ll be streaming the event live on Facebook.
This election features several political newcomers, and it’s important to get a solid grasp on who they are, what they propose, and how they would go about their work if selected to help run our city.
This is your opportunity to meet the candidates and hear what they stand for, what they’ll do if they’re picked to help run the city.
And second, we ask that, once you’ve educated yourself, exercise your right and cast your vote. It’s been said that those who do not vote forfeit their right to complain, and while we don’t necessarily agree with that pronouncement, we do see casting a vote as a far more productive use of one’s time and effort than lodging endless complaints after the election is done.
This is our city, and April 2 is our chance to have a say in how it will be run.
Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.
In Craig and Moffat County, we love America. We love its ideals of free market capitalism and
self-sufficiency, of resilience, of sacrifice and compassion for the downtrodden.