Spring elections are approaching. Most towns are announcing the availability of nomination papers for local offices. Should you consider running for office? Absolutely!
We recently spoke with a young gentleman who was concerned with something happening in his local school district. He expressed his concerns articulately and calmly, with excellent reasoning and strong parental concern. We suggested that he run for school committee this spring.
Our visitor was taken aback.
He did not think he was sufficiently educated or sophisticated to serve on a town board. We reminded him that he's a parent with kids in the school system, he's a taxpayer, he's intelligent (which he disputed) and has a strong moral compass. Sounds to us like he has all the basic qualifications to serve on any town committee.
Every town official - elected or appointed - had to start someonewhere. Sometimes it's good for the town boards to have some a fresh set of eyes look at the business before them.
This is a splendid time to consider running for office. Seats on town boards are all too often uncontested. In some towns there are even positions that have no candidates at all, low-hanging fruit for a write in campaign. A contested election is a forum to talk about the issues facing the town and to hear different candidates' perspectives.
If you're interested in pulling nomination papers, your local Town Clerk's office is happy to help you. If you're considering a particular committee seat, start attending the committee's meetings - either in person or by watching the video that's available on most towns' websites and community access television.
If you don't think you're ready to stand for elected office, most Cape towns have dozens of vacancies on appointed town boards - another excellent way to serve your town. Check the town website for committee vacancies or call your town adminstrator's office.
Our town governments are only as good as the elected and appointed officials we select to lead them.
Your town needs the service of intelligent, thoughtful citizens like you.