May election candidates deserve praise

Editorial voice of the Chieftain

If you’re a registered voter –– and we sincerely hope you are –– your ballot for the May election should have already arrived in your mailbox or will shortly.

This election is a far cry from last November’s big kahuna, but essentially not any less important. A case could be made that it’s more important than the Presidential election.

The process of selecting who will represent you on cemetery district boards, fire district panels and school boards is part of the fabric of our democracy and our community.

The school board races are the only ballot measures that have drawn sufficient candidates to produce an actual race. Keeping the governance of schools as close to the taxpayer as possible has served our nation and our county well.

Having a say in how the portion of money the local board controls is as simple as a phone call or a visit to a board meeting. It’s about as grass-roots as it gets.

Same for all of the other races on the May ballot. The idea is local control and self-determination.

This week, we hand our “everyday heroes” award to the stalwarts who allowed their names to be put forward. It’s not always an easy job, there is often not much in the way of remuneration and people can at times be disagreeable.

Being an effective elected official –– from U.S. President down to the Lostine Cemetery District –– is a calling. Thankfully, our community continues to have folks who are willing to serve when called.

That said, we would also like to remind readers that no one tossed a name in the hat for several positions that are open in May.

It’s not too late. You can launch a write-in campaign.

The Wallowa County Clerk’s Office, which does yeoman’s work where elections are concerned, will need your ballot returned by May 16 to be counted. Let’s plan to have 100 percent voter participation, and be sure to congratulate the winners and thank them for their service on May 17.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think. Write a letter to the editor and send it to editor@wallowa.com or add your comment online at wallowa.com.

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