RBC I There are so many reasons why it is easy to develop a sense of apathy when it comes to elections. The intense campaigns and their ceaseless nature can wear on even the most devout political followers.
What once was a two-year election cycle has become a never-ending onslaught of dramatic, negative campaign ads designed to both enrage your mind and open your pocketbook. With all of the 2016 presidential primary and election hullaballoo it can be easy to forget that this November there will be an election with several important local issues at hand.
I hold local elections in high regard. While they are not full of all of the excitement as national campaigns, they can be equally impactful to our community.
Earlier this year I did an interview with a gentleman who was leaving his post on the Rangely Town Council. While we discussed many interesting and important things, he said one thing in particular that really struck a chord, “You forget who you’re working for when you sit on that board and no one is involved.”
My own experience on the Rangely School Board echoes this sentiment. When public participation is low and the only people in attendance at meetings are those sitting on the board and whoever runs that particular district (town mangers, school superintendents, special district CEOs, etc.) you forget that your job is to be a voice for the taxpayers funding those districts instead of acting as a force to push through whatever policies and plans the district managers want.
You truly forget who you work for.
Luckily we have local elections to not only give us a say in the direction of our government, but to remind us of the importance of our participation. This fall we will be given the chance to cast our ballots in a number of issues including school board seats in both Rangely and Meeker and a school district mil levy override in Rangely.
Unfortunately in the 2014 election only 63 percent of registered voters in our county took the chance to vote. And once the ballot is cast practically nobody shows up to watch their government in action.
So as we move into the locally important November 2015 and the big 2016 election seasons I urge everyone to become involved in the process in its entirety. Attend your precinct meetings and county assemblies so that you can participate in the primary process. Vote in any and all elections and after you’ve received your ‘I Voted’ sticker continue to care. Attend meetings and ask questions. After all, if you don’t who will?