In Our Opinion: With candidate filing week at hand, it’s time to run for office

The outcome of this year’s election could have a significant impact on local government on Whidbey Island for many years to come.

A total of nine council positions in three municipalities, eight seats on school boards, a county assessor, a seat on the hospital district and many other elected positions will be on Whidbey ballots in November.

That’s why it’s pertinent for a range of engaged people who care about the future of their communities to stand up and throw their hats in the political arena.

Next week is candidate filing week, the time for armchair politicians and online critics to put up or quiet down a bit.

While there have been some lively political races on the island in recent years, too often candidates are unopposed. That’s simply un-American and undemocratic, especially when those who are running unopposed are new to politics and untested. It smacks of backroom deals.

We need candidates who are willing to dig into issues and disagree with staff members and other leaders. We need candidates who aren’t unduly influenced by people with power or motivated by dogma and self aggrandizement.

We need candidates who are dedicated to transparency and will follow open government laws.

But most of all, we just need candidates.

A lot of people are reluctant to run for public office because of the ugly side of politics. Besides the assessor, the other positions on the ballot are essentially volunteer positions with only minimal “per diem” pay — although Oak Harbor Council members can sign up for city health insurance.

But serving your community isn’t about taking the easy road and shouldn’t be about personal gain.

There are plenty of issues in local government that people feel strongly about, whether it’s utility rates in Oak Harbor, anti-racism training for public employees, the way schools handled the pandemic or staffing controversies.

These kinds of important issues are bound to come up in the future.

As the saying goes, the world is run by those who show up.

More in Opinion

In Our Opinion: Ships should follow same environmental rules as everyone else

Over the last year, giant hulking figures emitting low, intrusive rumbles have… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: It’s time for governor to put social distancing behind us

It’s time for the days of mandatory social distancing to come to… Continue reading

Sound Off: Coverage of clear-cutting on island doesn’t tell complete story

Your recent article, “Despite how it may seem, clear-cutting not increasing,” lacks… Continue reading

From the Editor: Press releases always welcome, but they are just the first step

People are a lot more savvy about how newspapers work than they… Continue reading

Manke
Sound Off: This is a time to renew our pledge to remember the fallen

For many, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. The end of… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: Illegal or not, Coupeville school board actions troubling

As role models for students, school boards should strive to follow the… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: With candidate filing week at hand, it’s time to run for office

The outcome of this year’s election could have a significant impact on… Continue reading

Sound Off: Rethinking proposed bans on natural gas

By Don Brunell Sometimes being first isn’t good. Such is the case… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: Disputes unmask extent of misinformation, confusion about face coverings

Together with social distancing, donning a face covering is proven to be… Continue reading

Sound Off: State’s military, economy rely on Super Hornet funding

Washington state is an important state for our country’s Armed Services and… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: History of Whidbey Island law enforcement is one of reform

Whidbey Island residents are lucky to have the professionally run law enforcement… Continue reading

Sound Off: Climate on the agenda this year; carbon tax should be too

A few weeks into the new administration, the federal government is off… Continue reading