Editorial: Serve the public

There are few better ways to help your community than to choose to run for election to one of the many nonpartisan positions that will be on the November ballot.

The filing period for such offices starts Monday, July 25 and continues through July 29 at the Island County Auditor’s Office in Coupeville.

Pay is usually nonexistent or minimal at best, but such public service positions can be rewarding in many other ways.

Positions are open on the Oak Harbor City Council, Oak Harbor School Board, Coupeville Town Council, Coupeville School Board, Central Whidbey and North Whidbey Fire and Rescue boards, North Whidbey Park and Recreation District board, and a variety of water, sewer and cemetery districts. A full list was printed in the July 9 Whidbey News-Times and is available on the Island County Web site. Go to www.islandcounty.net and click on “election results.”

Public service through elective office offers great challenges and satisfaction. The Coupeville School Board, for example, guided a proposal for a new high school to voter approval and is now overseeing the construction process. The Oak Harbor School Board members are working tirelessly to improve athletic and high school facilities in Whidbey Island’s largest city. The Oak Harbor City Council is trying to reinvent downtown. Fire commissioners literally have the lives and safety of the community in their hands, and the Park District commissioners are pursuing an indoor tennis facility that will improve the quality of life here.

Other board members’ duties are more mundane, but just as important. Sewer commissioners protect the public health and the waters of Puget Sound. Cemetery commissioners make sure we can be proud of our cemeteries and that they will meet the needs of a growing population. Water commissioners do all they can to assure a clean, affordable source of drinking water for people in their communities, while preparing to serve future needs.

Whidbey Island is blessed with scores of dedicated public servants who give their time and skills to making this a better place to live. But they need all they help they can get as many smaller positions are vacant for lack of people to fill them. Don’t be afraid to challenge an incumbent. Competition is the heart of the democratic process.

Do your community a favor and find a purpose in life by running for a non-partisan office. Filing is open daily July 25-29 from 8:30 to 4:30 at the Auditor’s Office. Call 679-7366 for information.

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