Sept. 20 editorial |

Sept. 20 editorial

Summit County election is off to an impressive start

Eleven citizens are running for five seats on the newly established Summit County Council and, based on their remarks at a local forum Thursday night, county residents have some excellent candidates to choose from. All 10 of those who showed up (organizers said they tried but were unable to reach Steve Weinstein, the Democrat who is running for Seat E against Republican David Ure) appear to be deeply committed to the best interests of their communities.

While there are still several weeks of campaigning to go, one thing was clear after Thursday’s wide-ranging discussion about the issues facing local residents expanding the leadership of the county from three to five citizens was a great decision.

Adding two more voices to the board will lend more perspective and diversity to each decision that is made.

For more than a century, Summit County ran well with a three-member commission but the county has grown and the issues on the negotiating table have become much more complex. The current cast of candidates includes a lawyer, a land-conservation expert, a veteran council and commission member, a physician, a former state legislator, a rancher and a teacher. Their views range from conservative to liberal and from free market to fiscal conservative.

But they all agreed this week on the need to make the new form of government successful, on the importance of representing the county as a whole, and on protecting the quality of life that residents here are so fortunate to enjoy.

Unlike their national counterparts, so far, Summit County’s candidates seem respectful of one another. Among them there seems to be more consensus than contention.

Inevitably, as the election draws near, voters will want to draw out the candidates’ differences. But that can be done without challenging their opponents’ sincerity or character.

The upcoming debate about how to guide development, mitigate traffic, protect the environment, guard the county’s economy and provide continuously improved services can be an immensely constructive process. We salute the candidates for their willingness to serve and call on all residents to participate in the upcoming campaigns.

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