Unless you are a true early bird, the polls should be open by the time you read this.
Today is the day we choose our local leaders for the next two years: the mayors, aldermen, council and board members and other officials that ensure that our cities and towns run as they should. And, by “as they should,” we mean they operate in a way that benefits the people of each city and town.
We can see you shrugging already: Yes, but how do they affect me?
First, they are the people who develop your city’s budget and set your town’s property taxes - payable by every home and business owner. But I’m a renter, we hear you saying. Well, we can assure you that, if your landlord’s property taxes go up, so will your rent.
These are also the people who run the schools your children attend. They fight for every dollar needed to make sure every child gets a good education and then they work hard to make sure that money is well spent.
These are also the people who oversee the police and fire departments - those charged with keeping your community safe. And manage local parks, provide recreation opportunities for kids and adults, pick up your trash and make sure your water supply is pristine.
In other words, these are the people in government who most affect your daily life.
And yet, each year, most of your sit out the election, leaving important decisions to a handful of our neighbors. And you can bet they are voting their interests - not yours.
Bottom line: If you do nothing else today, protect your self-interests: get out and vote!