Editorial: Make it a point to voteDifficult economic times have affected society in various ways. Interest in public office is no exception.
Difficult economic times have affected society in various ways. Interest in public office is no exception.
Local governments face unprecedented challenges. It’s no wonder citizens already burdened with their own economic hardships are reluctant to get involved. They need to focus all of their attentions on making a living.
In Pierce County, a mass exodus of incumbent candidates has occurred for this spring’s general election. Yet, a significant number of others have come forward to try to be their successors. Area residents should support them by going to the polls and voting on April 7.
For several municipal and school boards, there are choices. The River Falls School Board had so many hopefuls for its three available seats that a primary election on Feb. 17 was necessary. After that vote, the six remaining for a decision by district voters this spring are incumbent Barbara Kolpin, Darin Miller, Mike Miller, Trudy Ohnsorg, Karen J. Swenson and incumbent Alan Tuchtenhagen.
Plum City also has some races. On the village board, Peggy Gilles and incumbent Douglas Watkins are vying for village president. For the school board, Julie Gilles and Kraig Krueger are after the one available board seat.
Bay City and Maiden Rock offer village board contests, too. In the former, Jack Celt and incumbent Jim Turvaville are candidates for village president, while Jon Ebensperger and Jim Hince are in a race for trustee seat 1. In the latter, Judy Johnson-Daleiden and Peggy Rother are up for village president, with Julie Hecksel and incumbent Wayne Larson going for the available trustee seat.
Additionally, county voters, like those throughout Wisconsin, will choose between incumbent Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Judge Randy Koschnick for the available seat on the state supreme court, and between Tony Evers and Rose Fernandez for state superintendent of public instruction.
Of special concern are open spots on some ballots in the county. Although the Village of Elmwood has four newcomers seeking its three available trustee seats (Neil Boltik, Brian Buck, Rick Talford and Robert Weix), the Elmwood School Board shows only two newcomers (John Crownhart and Gabriel Weix) listed for its three seats. Similarly, voters in the Village of Spring Valley will find just two names (incumbents Mary Ducklow and Wendy Leach) for three openings on the ballot there.
Those governing bodies are counting on people who get write-in votes to step forward and fill the vacancies; otherwise, appointments will have to be made. The situation isn’t surprising because public service can be a thankless task featuring pay falling short of required efforts. It’s a commitment not everyone is willing to make.
A good way to promote public servants being around in the future is to give them the backing they deserve now. Don’t forget to visit the community’s polling place and cast ballots for local offices on election day this spring.