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Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014

Don't forget about the local elections

Posted Friday, October 24, 2008, at 4:38 PM

Well, we're heading down the homestretch for what promises to be a historic presidential election.

If Democrat Barack Obama wins, the nation will have its first African-American resident of the White House.

If Republican John McCain is the victor, then Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will become the first female to be elected vice president.

Both are historic events and should be enough to get the voters more than fired up and eager to cast their ballots on Nov. 4.

If the early voting numbers in the county are any indication of the true interest in this year's election, this should be a very good one in terms of voter turnout.

For those local folks who live and breathe politics -- guys like county GOP boss Randall Brown, Democrat Chairman Jeff Lehman and former Republican Chairman Lavon Yoho -- the past few months must be a dream come true.

Indiana is in the presidential spotlight and Hoosiers will have a real say in deciding who will live in the White House for the next four years for the first time in decades.

Candidates for president and vice president are actually visiting our state on the campaign trail multiple times and the contenders from both political parties are asking for our vote.

Now that is a change I like.

Even the race for governor between incumbent Republican Mitch Daniels and Democrat challenger Jill Long Thompson has taken a back seat to the presidential tussle between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama.

My hope is that Greene County voters will not forget about the local races for county commissioner, county council, treasurer, Superior Court Judge, surveyor, and the four seats up for grabs on the Eastern Greene School Board.

These positions are all important.

We are selecting two new commissioners and three councilmen this election.

Those offices have a more direct impact on each of us than the person picked to sit behind the desk of president or Indiana governor.

Commissioners are the elected representatives who decide the county's executive policy and personnel matters, receive bids and award contracts, authorize payment of claims, and they oversee the construction and maintenance of county roads and bridges.

The commissioners also determine voting precincts, polling places and the kinds of voting machines used.

Also among their long list of duties, they control, maintain and supervisor all county properties and make annual appointments to a variety of county positions.

Members of the commissioners also serve on the Greene County General Hospital Board of Trustees and on the Greene County Solid Waste Management District Board.

County council members formulate and approve the annual budgets of all offices and determine how money is appropriated and transfers within that budget. The work they do determines tax rates and levies.

The council also has the authorization to incur county indebtedness. Members fix the salaries of officers, deputies, assistants, and employees whose salaries are payable from any county fund.

You can see each of these jobs is key to the day-to-day operation of county government. The people we select to sit on these two governing bodies is important.

Being informed about who is running and why they are seeking the elected job is key to the voters.

The candidates have an obligation to explain the reasons they are running and reveal their views on the issues -- even the tough ones.

Voting every four years is the only job evaluation we have for the incumbents and it should be a warning to those seeking office that if they don't perform as promised, they can and will be voted out of office.

Here at the newspaper, we'll continue to run political ads and profile candidates in front page stories in hopes of providing some of the key answers before the ballots are cast in less than two weeks.

If we didn't ask the questions you want to have answered, track the candidates down and ask them yourself.

Learn more about commissioner candidates Kermit Holtsclaw, Kathy Crouch, Nathan Abrams, and Steve Lindsey.

Learn more about county council candidates William "Butch" Brown, Rae Della Cravens, David "Scott" Richards, Jerry Frye, Ken Gremore, and Carolyn White.

Learn more about the two candidates for Greene Superior Court Judge -- Dena Benham Martin and Jacob Fish.

Learn more about the Greene County Surveyor candidates Timothy Jones and Ira "Butch" Wright.

Learn more about Stuart Dowden and Shelby Meurer, candidates for Greene County Treasurer.

And don't forget to check into the nine people who are seeking four seats on the Eastern Greene Board of School Trustees -- Patrick Arthur, Brad Crites, Troy Fields, Robert "Rob" Hudson, Jeremy R. Inman, "Donnie" Johnson, Shelly Patterson, Sherman Schuck, and Jim Yoho .

The decisions you make on Election Day are important.

Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at schneider.nick@gmail.com or nschneider@gcdailyworld.com



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