Next Tuesday's election gives local voters a chance to have a real impact on the choice of people who will have a real impact on their lives for the next several years.
Elections to choose new Lawrence city commissioners and school board members are just a week away. It's time for voters to evaluate the candidates in the race and form opinions about whom to support.
Regardless of what skills or philosophies the candidates bring to the race, they all deserve the thanks and respect of the community for being willing to participate in this important process. Lawrence is fortunate to have so many sincere, well-qualified candidates from which to choose.
No elected officials have a greater impact on our day-to-day lives than the members of our city commission and school board. The water we drink, the streets we drive on and the schools our children attend are overseen by the people on these boards. The school district and city government are major employers in Lawrence, and actions taken by the school board and city commission touch our lives in many ways.
And, unlike state or national elections, in city and school board elections, local residents have an opportunity to vote for people they actually know. These are people who go to your church or have children in your school. They are people you see in a restaurant or at the movie theater. Voters don't have to rely on billboards or 30-second sound bites to guide their election choices. They already know these people, or if they don't, the election season offers ample opportunities to get to know them. Candidates answer questions for the newspaper, appear at candidate forums and even campaign door-to-door. It's hard to imagine any of them not responding to an individual who wanted to learn more about their stands on the issues.
Last Sunday's Journal-World included capsule versions on candidate's views on a number of issues. Several candidate forums have been held and others are scheduled in the next week. Every local voter should get the information he or she needs to cast an informed vote in Tuesday's general election.
The final step, of course, is to make the trip to the polls next Tuesday to express your opinion and exercise your right to vote. Unfortunately, voter turnout for local elections generally is low; the results can turn on a relatively small number of votes.
Make sure yours is one of them.