Editorial: Who will rule is determined by who shows up to vote
Let’s not get too carried away with Election Day 2016 before making a firm commitment to vote in this year’s municipal election. In just a few weeks residents in five of Summit County’s six cities will select new council members, and those who live in the Park City School District will decide the fate of a $56 million bond for new classrooms and athletic facilities.
These local candidates and issues may not make headlines on the nightly news like their national counterparts, but the results of this November’s election could impact residents’ daily lives as much, if not more, than those decided on the federal level. So while the major parties duke it out over who will be on the November 2016 ballot, let’s concentrate on who and what will be on the ballots in Summit County.
The personalities and individual priorities of the candidates seeking seats on the Park City, Coalville, Kamas, Oakley and Henefer town boards will shape the future of each community. Make an effort to learn about their skills and priorities before handing them the keys to your city.
Park City Council members set the agenda for City Hall, deciding where and how to expend staff time and your tax dollars. The three candidates who prevail on Nov. 3 will hold sway over important upcoming decisions regarding affordable housing, transportation, preservation of the city’s historic structures and development of the ski area base facilities among others. The cities on the East Side of the county are also facing watershed decisions regarding new growth and economic development.
There are both incumbents and new faces on the ballots so if you don’t like how things have been going in your neck of the woods, this is the time to throw the bums out. But if you are satisfied, don’t sit this one out. The malcontents are sure to beat you to the polls.
Perhaps the most closely watched local election issue, though, will be the school bond and that result may be determined by whether or not voters in the unincorporated portions of the school district, specifically the Snyderville Basin, go to the polls.
Recent Census demographics indicate that residents who live in the Basin, in general, are younger and more likely to have children in the school system than their older counterparts in the city. That means they have more of a stake in the future of the school system. And Basin residents significantly outnumber city residents. But will they show up to vote, even when there is nothing else on the ballot?
Early voting in the town and the school district elections begins in just 13 days, but before attempting to cast a ballot you must be registered. If you have moved recently or haven’t voted for a while, take a moment to check your registration status online at http://vote.utah.gov/
The registration deadline to participate in early voting is Oct. 19. If you are cutting it that close, though, it will require a trip to the county clerk’s office in Coalville. The deadline to vote on Election Day, Nov. 3, is Oct. 27.
A reader says the new grading system implemented at Ecker Hill Middle School is failing students, teachers and parents.