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Editorial: Consider seeking public office

It's a difficult time of the year to think about civic duty, but that's exactly what must happen if someone is thinking about running for a position on a local board in the spring election.

Despite the hectic schedule surrounding Christmas, now is the time to be exploring the procedure for seeking office in municipalities and school districts throughout Pierce County.

Some positions require the circulation of nomination papers; others need only a declaration of candidacy. For most towns, caucus meetings are held. The spring election is Tuesday, April 2, 2013 (Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, primary, if needed), but all necessary preliminary work, regardless of the governmental unit (except towns with caucuses) must be completed by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. Usually it is the first Tuesday in January, but because Jan. 1, 2013, is New Year's Day, the deadline will be the next day (Wednesday) in 2013.

It is too early to tell in most municipalities if incumbents in each of the positions will run again. Some will, some won't. That, of course, shouldn't discourage a citizen who's interested in seeking office. When voters are offered a choice, it brings more people to the polls and gives citizens options to consider.

We pay tribute to all the people currently serving in local government and to those considering the possibility of running for office. The pay is low, criticism is often high and the responsibilities are huge. Those willing to serve are true public servants.

In the immediate vicinity, positions open in the Village of Ellsworth include Village President Gerald DeWolfe, and Trustees Neil Gulbranson, Kenny Manfred and Curt Wandmacher. All positions are for two years.

Positions open on the Ellsworth School Board are those of Laurie Andrews, Dan Kaler and Doug Peterson. Those are three-year positions.

Candidates on all town boards except in the Town of Trenton are selected at town caucuses next month. Those dates are being determined at board meetings this month.

In the immediate vicinity, the Town of Ellsworth has Barry J. Foy, chair, Everett S. Muhlhausen and Jeffrey Redding, supervisors, Phyllis J. Beastrom, clerk, and Audrey A. Murphy, treasurer, up for election.

None of the 17 county board supervisors are up for election in April. They all run at the same time in even-numbered years. On the ballot, however, will be the positions of State Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers.

Wherever a person lives, there are opportunities to be a member of a city council, village board, town board or county board, or a school board. Now is the time for those considering becoming a public servant at the local level to put a plan into motion.