Election season: Is this your time to change world?

Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2002

If you want to make a difference in this place you call home, opportunity is knocking.

The filing period for local elected office ends Thursday. There are a number of seats open for election: borough mayor; seven assembly seats -- District 1 (Kalifornsky), District 2 (Kenai), District 4 (Soldotna), District 5 (Sterling-Funny River), District 7 (Central Peninsula), District 8 (Homer) and and District 9 (South Peninsula.); three seats on the school board; one seat on the Kenai City Council; and, in Soldotna, the mayor's seat, plus one council seat. In addition, there are ample opportunities to get involved through election to one of the borough's many service area boards.

If you've been an armchair critic of politics, here's a chance to move from the sidelines to a seat where you can help call the shots and run the plays. If you've ever wanted to be a voice of "the people," now's the time to sign up and speak out. If you have a vision to make this a better place to live, election season offers a forum to share it.

The work of elected community leaders isn't easy, and it's far from glamorous. In fact, every year at this time we wonder why people do it. It's certainly not for the fame or fortune. Those who serve are, without a doubt, unsung community heroes.

It may not come with the prestige of higher elected office, nevertheless, serving on a city council, the assembly, school board or borough service area board has the potential to change the community for the better and touch the lives of people in ways no congressional decision ever can.

Now is the time to ask: Is the way things are good enough? What direction do I want my community to take? Do my priorities match those of my elected leaders? Do I know the priorities of my elected leaders? Is there something I want accomplished; if so, who is the best person to make that project happen?

After reflecting on those kinds of questions, it may be apparent that you are the best candidate for a particular office. If so, get your application in -- now.

We often ask why more people don't run for office and why they don't vote. Is it apathy or an endorsement of how things are going? Do people not care or are they content with the status quo? Would they rather criticize than get involved?

We don't have the answer to those questions, but we do know the importance of local elected office. It's a chance to make a world of difference in your community.

Remember, the deadline for filing is Thursday. There are lots of borough service area boards that could use your help.

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