11/05/07 — It matters: Vote. No matter where you live, Tuesday will decide your future.

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It matters: Vote. No matter where you live, Tuesday will decide your future.

Municipal elections are notoriously underrepresented in the voter category. Turnouts are generally embarrassing to say the least.

Maybe the reason is that so many people think their votes don’t matter anyway — and that they should be saved for bigger fish like presidential races.

Or maybe it is just simply that too many people are too lazy to get out to vote.

Either way, to think that way this week would be a mistake. Why? Because the men and women who are asking for your vote during this election cycle will be making some pretty important decisions about your community’s future.

From mayors in three municipalities, including Goldsboro, to a myriad of city and town council seats, those on the ballots Tuesday have distinctive views on what is best for their communities.

What you have to decide is who best meets your definition of the person best-suited to lead your community.

There are many similarities between many of the candidates — and they share some of the same hopes for what they would like to see come to pass in their communities in the next couple of years.

But in some cases, listening carefully is very important.

Be careful of some of the implied statements that have been made in some of the races about incumbent candidates. Check facts and look at records. Don’t just jump on a “throw the bums out” bandwagon.

If the person who seeks your vote has been a leader and made progress for your community, he or she deserves your vote.

And make sure you get out Tuesday and cast that vote. Elections have been lost because too many people decided a “shoo-in” candidate did not need their support.

Don’t let someone become a leader in your city by default. Get out and make your choice.

This election has plenty of newcomers, too. People who want to serve their communities, but who have little or no experience. If you like what they are saying, give them a chance. Then, hold them accountable.

It will be tempting to sit home tomorrow. After all, it supposed to be a perfect fall day.

But the votes that will be cast tomorrow will be the voice of a people who are sending a message to their leaders about the type of town and city policy they want to see in the coming years.

Making sure you have a chance to express your opinion is worth the small amount of time it will take to vote.

After all, you can consider voting an investment in your property values and your children’s future.

When you put it that way, it moves it up the priority list, doesn’t it?

Published in Editorials on November 5, 2007 10:47 AM