The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

March 31, 2014

Our View: Vote like you care

— Not every race is going to draw the kind of attention that this year’s Joplin City Council election has. And that’s unfortunate.

Both that race and the election for Joplin School Board have attracted a full slate of candidates. Both are ballots that offer choices and will engage voters and make them think when they go to the polls.

All voters throughout our readership area deserve more choices on their ballot. Too often, the public is simply making a mark for the incumbent. Those who believe in the importance of voting will always show up no matter how slim the decision. Those who haven’t established the habit, or who already feel disengaged from local government, will see a ballot without choices as just another reason to stay home on April 8.

As you look through today’s election guide in this section of the Globe, you will see that there are decisions critical to our communities. The future of a proposal to offer curbside recycling in Joplin, in our view, is worth serious consideration from voters.

Voters in the Neosho School District will vote on a $24 million bond issue to build a new junior high school. Voters in the Carthage School District are being asked to approve an $18 million bond issue that would finance the construction of one new school building and expand another. Webb City voters will determine the fate of a proposed $2.5 million bond issue to pay for the construction of a city swimming pool.

Controversy shouldn’t be necessary to grab the attention of voters. Conflict isn’t required to get people to sign up as a candidate for school board or city council.

What is needed is an interest in the future of our local communities. That responsibility doesn’t rest on the few but on all those who want to have a voice in better schools and better towns.

We encourage you to inform yourself on the candidates and the issues. By casting your ballot on April 8, you not only make a choice, but you send the message that you are interested and you are watching what’s going on in your community.

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