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August 09, 2012 9:30 am

EDITORIAL: A chance to make a difference

Written by Ilene Olson

If you’re interested in making a difference for your community, this is your chance.

The election filing period for people interested in running for district boards opened Wednesday, Aug. 8 and runs through Aug. 27.

These non-partisan posts are seats on boards charged with oversight of tax districts in the community, such as the Park County School District No. 1, the Northwest College District, the Powell Hospital District and the Park County Fire Protection District No. 1 board. Other elected boards include those serving cemetery and conservation districts.

While some of these boards often are not in the forefront of public attention, they play a vital role in the community. They approve budgets, set policy and provide opportunities for public input and comment. They are composed of local people who care enough to donate their time and talents to provide public accountability and to move those organizations forward. They help set priorities and plan for the future for the organizations they govern — and in turn, for many aspects of the community as well.

The work is not always easy and can be time consuming and sometimes thankless as well, but it is important work that must be done and can benefit the entire community.

It also is important that members of the public have an opportunity to elect people to represent them on district boards. If no candidate comes forward for any open seat on a board, that seat is filled by appointment after the election, and the public loses its opportunity to collectively voice its opinion on the matter.

One candidate is good; two or more are better. Multiple candidates provide voters a choice for a board seat, ensuring that the person who wins is the one the majority of voters believe is best suited for the job.

We urge people to offer to share their talents and skills for the public’s benefit by filing for election to a board seat — to give back to the community that provides so much for them.

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