The Park Record editorial, March 10-13, 2012
With all the hubbub surrounding Super Tuesday, many citizens may already feel a bit numb when it comes to political yammering. But it is important not to forget that, in addition to the presidential race, there are many other vital offices at stake in November and the list of candidates on that ballot is being determined right now.
The filing window to run for elected positions on the Summit County Council, the North Summit, South Summit and Park City school boards, and for seats in the state legislature opened Friday and will slam shut at 5 p.m. this coming Thursday, March 15.
Three of the five seats on the Summit County Council which oversees everything from county road maintenance and garbage collection to planning and zoning in all of the county’s unincorporated areas, including Kimball Junction are up for election.
The same is true for each of the county’s three school districts where each board has an important say over teacher pay, school policies and personnel. While school board positions are nonpartisan and members don’t often make headlines, they deal with intensely emotional issues that have intimate impacts on local families.
The filing window also gives citizens an opportunity to recruit new representatives at the state level. With the results of the most recent session fresh in mind, both Democrats and Republicans should be fired up to ensure candidates who are aligned with their political persuasion sign up pronto.
But wait, that’s not all. In addition to enlisting qualified candidates, it is also important to take time this coming week to attend a neighborhood caucus where delegates to the county convention will be selected. It will be up to those delegates to try to winnow the field on each party ticket to avoid a primary. Political veterans know that this where the future is really cast where the extremes of each party try to push and pull the candidates to the right or left and where moderates sink or swim. If, for instance, a particular interest group packs the caucus and picks its own delegates, they can determine who is on the November ballot.
So, here is your assignment. If you think you can do a better job of running your county, state or school district, now is the time to step forward. Go to the county clerk’s office and file. If you care about local issues but don’t see yourself as a candidate, go to a neighborhood caucus on Tuesday or Thursday, learn about the issues and offer to become a delegate.
The Republican county convention is March 23 and the Democratic convention is on March 31, which means that much of Summit County’s General Election ballot may be set in stone by April 1.
Yes, it’s a long road to November, but the real ground work is being laid this month.
For more information about the caucuses, the conventions and how to register to vote, go to: http://www.summitcounty.org/clerk
To register to vote online go to: https://secure.utah.gov/voterreg/index.html
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Arlene Loble served as the Park City manager in the 1980s, a pivotal period that prepared the community for the boom years that would follow in the 1990s. Loble, who recently died, is credited with introducing a level of professionalism to the municipal government that was needed amid the growth challenges.