Important election season begins today

IT MAY NOT SEEM like it, but it’s been eight months since we’ve voted in an election around here.

With 24-hour news coverage of the seemingly dozens of candidates for president and other races in 2016 – including television commercials, debates and robo phone calls – it feels at times like we’re all caught in a never-ending political campaign.

But despite the sometimes wall-to-wall politics, we here in Plymouth and Sheboygan County have not exercised the most important part of the political process, casting our ballots, since last April.

That will change soon, as another local election is slated for next April 5, with the possibility of a primary election Feb. 16 if it is required for any of the offices on the April ballot.

While presidential politics will be part of that vote – the state’s presidential preferential primary will be part of the April ballot – the focus will be on races that generate far less heat and light, but are probably more significant and more impactful right here where we live, work and play.

Voters will fill seats on city councils, village boards, town boards, school boards and the County Board next April.

Those are the people who make the important decisions on items and issues that affect our lives every day – maintenance and care of roads and streets, fire and police protection, educating our children, providing help for businesses and industries that create new jobs and protect existing jobs, and so much more. They are the ones that craft budgets and put together the property tax bills we pay every year.

The people who fill those positions that will be on the April ballot are our neighbors, our friends, our colleagues and co-workers – people we know and see regularly, not strangers or celebrities from far away cities and states.

They often face little or no opposition in their bids for offi ce and too many times there ends up being no interest at all in and no candidates for some offi ces each spring. That should not happen.

These positions should not be filled as often as they are by only one person willing to run for them, by only a handful of voters instead of the scores of voters who turn out for fall elections.

Today, Dec. 1, is the first day that candidates can officially begin circulating nomination papers for positions on the April 5 ballot. There should be many, many people doing so – it’s that important.

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