Tuesday is a big day. Our minds and newsfeeds may still be inundated with next November when Americans head to the polls in the presidential election. But Tuesday’s general election matters, it really matters.
It matters because three Valley counties — Northumberland, Snyder and Union — are guaranteed to have a least one new commissioner. There is a chance Snyder and Union counties could have an entirely new three-person board.
It matters because every school district in the Valley has board of directors candidates on the ballot. That means you get to pick who hires the new superintendent in Danville, who will oversee the construction of the Midd-West’s new athletic complex and what sort of transparency emerges out of Shamokin.
It matters because East Buffalo Township, Lewisburg Borough and Sunbury’s City Council have contested races. Each locale has high-profile issues it is dealing with, including the ongoing legal spat between Lewisburg and EBT, and the long-term economic development of Sunbury’s downtown.
The good news people have stood up to be counted for these positions. The number of uncontested races across the four Valley counties is troubling. There are dozens. The uncontested races aren’t as bothersome as those that have no candidates, races where neither party nor any third-party candidate is even part of the process.
That’s sad, and perhaps an indictment on the largess among Pennsylvania’s 4,000-plus municipalities.
That is a problem to tackle at another time. Today we encourage you to become involved, which means showing up on Tuesday.
The officials you elect on Tuesday will have a hand in local school district issues, taxes, policing and public safety, ordinances, infrastructure issues like road repairs, recycling, and even leaf and brush pickup in your neighborhoods.
Municipal commissioners and supervisors decide how to spend your tax money.
School board members provide the infrastructure and tools needed to educate your children.
In short, local government has the money and influence to decide what your community’s priorities are and how it will be run.
Be sure to have a say in what matters.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher and top newsroom executives. Today’s was written by Managing Editor Bill Bowman.