Local Elections Are Coming Up — Be Prepared!
The city where I live will hold local elections on April 1st. As I was talking to one of our younger neighbors I asked her who she would like to see become alderman of our district. To my surprise, she had no idea what an alderman was or why she should vote. That got me thinking… How many people don’t know what an alderman is? That was a scary thought. Before your local elections take place, here are some key positions you need to be familiar with.
Why Should You Care?
Why should you care about local elections? Because they WILL affect you, whether you vote or not. Who gets voted into your local government has a direct impact on your local taxes, local ordinances and how your city, village or town is run.
The alderman is an important position, although many people don’t understand exactly what an alderman does. The are often busy establishing and maintaining city ordinances, approving development plans and working on park and recreation activities. Aldermen also get involved in snow plowing complaints, stop sign requests, storm drain issues, speeding complaints and other concerns that affect their districts. They also meet with other government officials, such as the the mayor, to resolve local issues. Of course, this isn’t all an alderman does, but it gives you the general picture.
Another position you’ll see people running for during local elections is that of a seat on the school board. These people are dedicated to making sure the children in your district get the best education possible. They work hard to improve public education. A great school board can really have a positive impact on a community.
The city council is the governing body of a city. It sets policies, determines tax rates, approves budgets and sets city ordinances. It is critical to the well-being of a city that all city council members are ethical and honest people.
Of course, there are many other positions in local government (mayor being one of them) that one should become familiar with before local elections are held. My advice? Talk to your local candidates and see if their vision for your area is the same as yours. Get to know them and vote for the one who will move your community forward. That’s what it’s all about.