Archive for Thursday, February 1, 2007

Be issue informed

February 1, 2007

Candidate slates are now set for the seven positions open on the Baldwin City Council and Baldwin School Board. Now it's time for the community members to learn all they can about the 14 candidates and where we want them to lead us from here.

Are there any "burning issues" for this year's campaigns? Depends on how you look at it.

Quality leadership is always an issue and what both the board and council constantly need. Once again, we applaud those individuals who have stepped to the plate over the years to serve our community in these key roles.

From there, the hottest "burning issue" is easily growth.

In the next year, the Baldwin School Board will be deciding on what to ask for and -- more importantly -- how many dollars to ask for in an impending bond issue. What will best serve the school district into the future and what is its price tag now?

Similarly, the council will have decisions to make in the near future on how Baldwin City should continue to grow. Whether that means extensions of services and other growth question marks -- most notably the continued need for establishing a business park -- hard decisions will have to be made.

And, for a change, the biggest factor in many of these choices is out of the city or school leaders' hands. That's the multi-million-dollar question of what Gardner's Intermodal project, which will bring thousands of jobs to the area, will mean in the ripple-affect to surrounding communities such as Baldwin.

The answers aren't easy. That's why it's imperative that the community finds out where its candidates stand on growth issues. The Signal has sent questionnaires to the candidates with numerous questions, including those related to growth. We've already received several back and will be publishing those answers in upcoming issues. Those answers will also be available on-line at

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce is also working on putting candidate forums together in the near future so community members can hear face-to-face what the candidates say.

The primary election is Feb. 27 and will whittle the field of seven council members down to six and the slate of four candidates for position No. 7 at-large on the school board to two. Three school board candidates are running unopposed. We still need to hear what their thoughts are on the questions of the day for our community.

And, it is up to all of us to find out where these candidates stand and make wise decisions. The future of our community depends on it.

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