The Camden Herald editorial — June 7, 2012
While the election next week may not hold the excitement of a presidential or gubernatorial race, it is nonetheless vitally important. Local races offer the opportunity to chose a representative who shares the same values, goals and vision for your town.
Too often, the same people remain in office long past their original intended commitment because of a lack of candidates, leaving voters the choice of something less than the best of the best. We are happy to say that does not seem to be an issue with local races at this time, but a few months ago, the outlook wasn't as bright. Few had expressed an interest in Camden Select Board, in particular; now there is a diverse field of six candidates.
Yet still, for some positions, there are no candidates. Budget committees, personnel committees and planning boards may not hold the same glamor as select board positions but continue to be an essential part of town government. Having seen the inner workings of town government, we know it takes a commitment of time and dedication but we have also seen people grow, move forward and go on to higher offices; even “find their calling.” If you have an interest in determining not only your personal future but also the future of your town, running for municipal office is a great place to begin.
We aren't implying that anyone and everyone are suitable candidates for political office. Some are more suited for attending meetings or becoming watchdogs, much like long-time Rockport resident Ralph Field. Field said he once considered running for select board but instead decided he could be more effective sitting in the audience and viewing meetings from the “outside” and offering his observations as a citizen of the town.
Another way to become involved is to attend town meeting. Many town meetings take place within a week of the election and offer the chance to review, question and potentially change a town budget, planned project or ordinance. Most town meetings address the operating budget in addition to special projects or expenditures planned for the upcoming fiscal year. Residents are allowed to ask questions, amend funding allowances and accept or reject ordinance changes.
Whatever your level of involvement in local government, voting offers the chance to make a difference. Don't let the opportunity slip by.
Class of 2012, congratulations on reaching one of the first milestones of your adult lives.
That said, becoming an adult means acting responsibly and several of you did not choose to do so following prom, being caught drinking alcohol by police. For some, police intervention could be a needed wake-up call but for others, it will have no impact at all.
The lure of the forbidden will continue throughout your lives in one form or another; maturity will dictate which choice you make. It is a crossroads — which path will you take?