While many voters are passionate about politics at the national and state levels, many might not realize how great of an impact local and municipal government and politics have on our day-to-day lives.
This is evident in voting statistics — presidential elections compared to local elections are like high school football bleachers compared to National Football League stadiums.
On Tuesday, however, we have a chance to fill those seats. On Tuesday the ballot box will open and each and every voter will have the chance to shape local government on an immediate level. On Tuesday, the fate of many borough and city issues are up for grabs.
If history is any indicator, less than 20 percent of registered voters will go to the ballot box. Does that mean less than only one out of every five people in the area cares about what goes on?
We doubt it. Maybe those voters who stay home on election day aren’t aware that the folks they aren’t voting on are in charge of many contentious local issues — the anadromous streams habitat ordinance, property taxes, the Kenai dipnet fishery, growth and expansion of Soldotna, education on across the Peninsula — just to name a few.
They say if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. We’d agree.
Many of these local officials are at the front lines of government — when you have an issue, want to make a change, or want to advance a cause, these are the people you’ll see first. These folks will help shape and guide the education our children receive. These are also the people that will represent our interests at the state level, and that means roads, capital projects and a number of other things we don’t think about until we need them.
If you already planned to head to the ballot box and don’t need any convincing, we’d take this chance to nudge you one step further and do a last few minutes of research on the candidates. Voting is a privilege, but being an educated voter makes you a community asset.
Also, ask your co-workers if they need a ride to the ballot box, encourage your family to register to vote and thank others you see with an “I Voted Today” sticker such as yourself.
Here’s where you can go vote:
Central — Soldotna Sports Center
Funny River 1 — Funny River Community Center
Funny River 2 — KPB Assembly Chambers
K-Beach — Kalifornsky Beach Fire Station
Kasilof — Kasilof Fire Station
Kenai No. 1 — Kenai Mall (Old Carrs Mall)
Kenai No. 2 — Challenger Learning Center
Kenai No. 3 — Kenai Senior Center
Mackey Lake — KPB Assembly Chambers
Nikiski — Nikiski Senior Center
Ninilchik — Ninilchik Senior Center
Salamatof — Nikiski Fire Hall No. 1
Soldotna — Soldotna City Hall
Sterling 1 — CES Sterling Fire Station
Sterling 2 — Sterling Baptist Church
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Here are the candidates, one last time:
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly —
Kalifornsky, District 1, three-year term:
■ Kelly Wolf
■ Michael Winegarden
Kenai, District 2, two-year term:
■ Christine Hutchison
■ Hal Smalley
East Peninsula, District 6, three-year term:
■ Sue McClure
South Peninsula, District 9, three-year term:
■ Mako Haggerty
■ Jesse Clutts
Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board of Education:
Kenai, District 2, three-year term
■ Tim Navarre
Sterling/Funny River, District 5, three-year term
■ Marty Anderson
Kenai City Council, two seats, three-year term
■ Robert Molloy
■ Ryan Marquis
■ James Rowell
Soldotna City Council:
Seat A, three-year term
■ John Czarnezki
Seat C, three-year term
■ Dale Bagley
Seat E, one-year term
■ Nancy Eoff