Cast an informed vote on Tuesday

You’ve read the ads. You’ve heard the rhetoric. You’ve formed your opinions.

Now, it’s time to prepare to vote.

Next Tuesday’s consolidated election features some very important races, both in Vandalia and across the county. Headlining those contests is the election of the mayor or village president in several Fayette County cities and villages. The local issues vary in those races, of course, but one constant remains key – leadership. Especially in these tough economic times, we need people in those positions who can effectively lead. They must be able to find creative solutions when funding is tight. They must be able to attract the best talent from among their constituents to help in the governing process. And they must be able to build consensus about the direction their municipality needs to go in order to grow and thrive.

Also to be decided in Tuesday’s election are several school board races. Again, with state funding being uncertain, we need people on those boards who can keep the quality of education high, even when funding is scarce. Hard decisions may need to be made for the good of our children.

And speaking of our children, the other important issue for voters in the Brownstown and St. Elmo school districts will, of course, be the decision whether to consolidate the districts. Small districts across the nation are facing the same dilemma – pitting tradition and community identity against the ability of larger districts to deliver a broader educational experience. It’s an emotional issue – with compelling arguments on both sides.

The consolidation issue has been scrutinized in several public meetings and discussed in coffee shops across the area for the past several months. We applaud the work done by citizens to explore the pros and cons of the issue. As the number of letters to the editor in today’s paper indicates, people are passionate about their position on the issue. (See more letters on pages 5, 12 and 13.)

We encourage such dialogue, as long as it’s conducted in a respectful and positive manner. If you live in those districts, make sure you’re fully informed on all aspects of the issue before casting your vote. Our children’s future is too important to decide this issue on anything other than what is best for them.

In all these races and issues, get the facts – and then cast an informed vote next Tuesday.


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