Sign Season

Its sign season in my town again.  And in the surrounding towns as well.  They are popping up on lawns faster than daffodils.  That's because our local elections are less than a month away.  Of course there are STILL some left over signs from last year's election, to which I say TAKE 'EM DOWN!  We know who won; so there's no need to have it out there.  We may not remember who lost and we don't need reminding.

These new signs, do serve a purpose; a very important one at that.  When it comes down to the local stuff, we don't necessarily know or hear about the candidates.  I CAN name all five candidates for our town council; well at least their last names. (I can also brag that I can name all five members of our current town council.  I don't know if that's cool or nerdy.)  These signs, mostly posted on the front lawns of our neighbors, remind us that an election is coming up and WHO is in the running.

Lawn signs should not be the reason you vote for someone.  It SHOULDN'T be a popularity contest where candidate "A" has blanketed most of the town so you should vote for him/her. (We are adults; being popular might be nice, but having what it takes to be part of government has little to do with popularity.)  What they SHOULD be doing is prompting you to find out more about him or her.  In this day and age, every candidate should have a website and/or presence on social media.  (All the candidates in my town do, so they all get a thumbs up from me on that.)  It's important to look at this information, even if you think you know who you are going to vote for.  For example, there are 3 slots open on the town council.  Currently I have a pretty good idea of who I'd like to see fill two of those three slots.  I need to do some research on the other three candidates and the internet is a great place to START.   It gives you some insight into who the person is, what they have done (service to the town in a variety of capacities is important to me especially if it's NOT in an elected position) and what do they plan to do.

But lawn signs and websites are just what the candidate wants you to see.  (And if a candidate's presentation turns me off or doesn't resonate with me there's a good chance they won't get my vote.)  It's important to dig a little deeper.  In times of Covid, meet and greets have moved on line. So have forums and debates.  And that's where we can get into the real nitty gritty and to see and hear what a candidate is all about.

Personally, I also like to ask my own questions of a candidate.  Because I live in a small town where every vote really does matter (and HAS mattered in past elections), in the past I have emailed candidates a question and their responses HAVE mattered to me.  (A lack of response has also mattered; in our last town council election one candidate did not respond and that was one of the reason I did not vote for him.)  One of the candidates running is an incumbent.  He DID answer my question and furthermore he followed through on his answer.  It wasn't a big thing, but the fact that he was good to his word made BIG impression on me. That he also used (in my opinion) common sense when it came his role also impressed me. (You can probably guess that I will be voting for him again.)  When it is possible, I feel it's important to really get to know the people who will be elected officials BEFORE they are elected.

If you haven't already gotten to know who is up for local election now is the time to read the signs and to get to know who they are and what they stand for.  Read the signs, but don’t rely on them. Local elections are important; your vote will impact what goes on in your backyard and what happens in your neighborhood.   So follow the signs and make an educated decision when you cast your vote...whether it be next month, in the fall or whenever.  


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