Many choices

By Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

When filings closed for the city council and mayoral races in New Prague, there were eight candidates. Two of them will vie for mayor, while the other six are running for city council.

It doesn't seem that long ago when interest in the city council was so low that no candidates filed for a Ward I position, and the incumbent, Doug Pint, was reelected with two write-in votes. That was in the mid-1990s, when city elections were held in odd-numbered years, and was one of the reasons why, when the city charter was revised, elections were moved to even-numbered years.

The increasing interest in local elections is not peculiar to New Prague. Elko New Market has 11 candidates as there are three council seats and a mayor's race on the ballot. Other area communities are also drawing interest from the electorate.

The large numbers indicate that people are interested in local government and want to have a voice. Their reasons are varied... some may want to keep taxes down, others want to maintain or improve services in certain areas, and still others might have a say in how the community will grow over the next four years.

Regardless of their reasons, the people who will be on the ballot in November deserve thanks for their willingness to serve. In the coming months voters in the community will have the chance to find out more about these candidates, their views and their positions on various issues facing the city. We encourage voters to ask questions and seek answers. City elections should not be a popularity contest, but a community decision on which candidates are best suited to making the city work.

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