Archive for Thursday, March 1, 2007

Wise voting has only just started

March 1, 2007

Well, the preliminary race is over. Now it's time for the real deal.

Voters pared down the list of seven Baldwin City Council and three Baldwin School Board candidates by one each Tuesday. That helped, but now it's onto the tougher choices ahead.

As many of the candidates themselves have said, there are hard choices to make because the field of candidates is so good. We agree. There isn't a single candidate running that shouldn't be. That's a good thing.

We weren't surprised with the turnout of the results from Tuesday's primary election, although -- as usual -- we had hoped that more than 15 percent of our community members would have made the choices. Thank God for that 15 percent.

There was no surprise in who made it through the primary. We picked it 100 percent. However, we didn't predict the order some of the candidates finished.

Again, that's good. We're hopeful that some of the "messages" that were sent Tuesday hold true. However, we're also very well aware that primary elections don't often predict the outcome of the general election.

There is still plenty of water yet to go under the campaign bridge before the April 3 showdown, the real deal, occurs. We're anxious to see what brand of water that is.

We hope that voters will get out and learn as much as they can about all of the candidates. That's our duty. We hope that heresy, rumor and the like won't play a part in election choices. But, we're also not naÃive. We know it will. It always does.

Part of the education process with voters should include the profiles on the candidates that the Signal has run in previous issues. We'll be running others, including those on the three incumbent school board members who are running unopposed in the April 3 general election. For those that have missed the profiles, they are on the Signal's Web site at www.baldwincity.com in the Election 2007 section. That section contains all political coverage that has been done and will be updated as the campaigns progress.

Voters should also plan to attend the upcoming candidate forum or forums, which will be put on by the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce. Details on those are still being worked out, including the possibility of a joint forum with both city council and school board candidates. There may also be the opportunity for the audience to ask questions at those forums, unlike the ones in the past.

If information from all of those sources aren't enough, we encourage voters to meet the candidates personally. They will be hitting the streets hard in the coming month, so it probably won't be too hard to catch them. Ask them point blank what you want to know and have the added luxury of being able to look them in the eye to know the answer you're getting is the truth.

The city and school district face tough questions ahead with the Gardner Intermodal bringing thousands of jobs to the immediate area in the next year or more. It will mean growth everywhere, Baldwin City included, and governing bodies in every locale around us need to be aware.

We need our governing bodies to be the best during this time. Find out where the candidates stand and, more importantly, vote for how you want to see our community grow. We will grow. Make no mistake. Let's do it wisely. Let's elect the best people to make sure that happens. With four seats on the school board and three on the city council, now is the time.

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