Who cares what you think

Well, you better hope it’s the people your elect to represent you.

But so much noise is made by candidates touting their “leadership” and “positions” and “promises” that it’s a little tricky to stay focused on the actual mechanics of representative governing. It’s about us, not them.

It can be useful for political office seekers to describe themselves in terms of their general view of things and their guiding philosophy. But neither of those are reasons to elect them. The job they are standing for requires them to give their attention and consideration to what we think, which is why we owe it to them - and ourselves, and our community - to make sure we are clear about it. They can’t hear you shaking your head.

Step One: Vote!

Well, maybe Step One is to learn who these people are and why they are asking for that vote. And while you learn their answers, ask them questions, and learn more.

Step Two: Don’t let go!

It’s not unfair to say that many citizens wear their “I Voted” sticker with the air of someone who has done their duty, and now may be relieved of any further requirements of their citizenship. This is where it all falls apart.

Cynical observers may suggest that the alleged American ideal has never actually existed. When in history, they might ask, has the citizenship of the country influenced the decisions made by the governing bodies they elected.

Maybe never. But now is a good time to start, and every city council or commission in the country is the perfect place to start. Lakelanders are about to embark the biannual mission to steer the city toward continuous improvement in public safety, quality of life, and communal prosperity.

Choose wisely, dear Lakelanders, and hold the Commission accountable. Pay attention. Plead your case. Rouse your allies. Speak your mind. Engage your citizenship. If you quit after you vote you might as well not have voted at all.