Elections give citizens a chance to thank those running by voting

Voices of the Peninsula

Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2005

There are some volunteers in our community who are starting to expect great things from you.

Eighteen members of our community have volunteered to stand out where they are possible targets for the slinging of mud and mire, and they all expect you to do something about it.

These people have volunteered to take a position few of us want. They have stepped up and offered to become candidates. They want you to do some volunteering, as well.

These eighteen neighbors are promising to give you a big part part of their lives. They’re promising to give up hours of family time, vacation times, fishing on warm summer and fall evenings. They only want you to volunteer a small bit of your time.

Eighteen community members are running for seven leadership positions. Their names will be on the ballot you will receive on Oct. 4. There are three school board seats, three borough assembly seats and the mayor’s chair is empty.

Some of us will no doubt remark that those who occupy those seats are paid for their services. This is true. School Board members get $180 dollars each month, unless you are the president. That chair must be harder. It rates $270. Assembly members do better. They get $400 per month with the president getting an extra $100. They also get $150 as car expense money.

Do you think they get such a small amount of money because they only meet periodically? I wonder if they consider themselves members of those governing groups only when they are seated in that chamber. It would seem that if one were elected to be a member of the school board or the assembly, one would be a member all the time.

So, what about the mayor? Certainly, the mayor’s job occupies him all the time. He has an office. We can see him there during the day. Many of his worries and plans, he carries to places we seldom see. There are six guys you probably know who have volunteered to be candidates for the mayor’s chair. One of them will be chosen to give us many of the hours of his life. Is eighty thousand dollars enough to buy a whole year out of your life? That’s $9.13 an hour.

Now, what do you think is expected of you in all of this? Do you have a full time responsibility to this community as well as those who will fill those chairs?

Do you think it is important to learn as much as possible about each candidate? Are you ready to ask questions and weigh answers? Will you be able to attend the League of Women Voters candidate forum on Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the borough chambers? And then will you be a volunteer for perhaps a half hour on Oct. 4 to go and cast your ballot?

There is no salary involved in voting. But you will be showing those 18 neighbors that you honor their volunteering to be candidates. You will be honoring every citizen of our country who has volunteered to stand out in the way of insult, trouble and perhaps hurt.

Be a volunteer. Be a voter.

Jean Kimple is a member of the local arm of the League of Women Voters.

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