It’s easy to stand back and criticize others.
It’s far more constructive to jump in and make a difference.
A number of local offices are up for election this year, and the time to step up and be part of a solution is just around the corner.
Candidate Filing Week in Washington state is Monday, May 13 through Friday, May 17. A total of 72 offices are up for election in 2013, according to the Island County Auditor’s Office.
During Filing week, the Elections Office, 400 N. Main St., Coupeville, will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Up for election this year are seats on the Oak Harbor City Council, Coupeville Town Council, Port of Coupeville, North Whidbey Fire and Rescue, and Coupeville and Oak Harbor school boards.
There are also cemetery and water district seats that will be filled.
A complete list of positions up for election is available on the Island County Auditor’s website, which you can easily navigate to via www.islandcounty.net
There’s no doubt that public service in Island County is not for the thin-skinned. Many residents have their opinions and beliefs and don’t hesitate to share them, often very bluntly. Nearly every elected candidate has his or her fair share of critics.
Of course, many have their very ardent supporters.
Elections are about giving the electorate a choice. No race should go uncontested.
When more than one candidate vies for a position, candidates will be asked how their views and priorities are different from their opponents’.
And it’s up to voters to pay attention. Living in a democracy comes with a responsibility to be aware of the issues and to cast an informed vote. Gather as much information about a candidate as you can from the newspaper and other sources.
For voters to have choices, however, there must be candidates. And the best candidates are those who understand that public office is a service to all of the citizens, not just those who share your views or those who voted for you.
A public servant must rise above the fray in order for democracy to function at its best.
If you’re concerned about the future of your community and want to serve others, consider tossing your hat in the ring during Filing Week.