With a little more than a week left until the filing deadline, open seats on the Lawrence City Commission and school board are attracting quite a bit of attention this year.
By Wednesday, five people had filed for one of three open City Commission seats, and five candidates had filed for the four seats on the local school board. Six city candidates and eight school board candidates will trigger primary elections to narrow the two fields for the April 3 general election.
This much relatively early interest in local election races is not unprecedented, but it is a positive sign that residents are interested in local government. Serving as a commissioner or board member is a major commitment of time and energy, and we should be grateful to all those willing to volunteer to take on those jobs.
A larger field of candidates puts a greater responsibility on voters to educate themselves about the candidates and cast their votes accordingly. The first step, of course, is to make sure your registration is up to date. Voters must be registered by Feb. 12 for the Feb. 27 primary election and by March 19 for the April 3 general election.
Decisions made at all levels of government are important, but the decisions made by local commissioners and school board members probably have the greatest impact on our daily lives. We have a great community; one of the most important ways to help it prosper in the future is to participate and make educated choices about who our local leaders will be.