Candidates deserve consideration
Anyone who offers himself or herself for public service as an unpaid member of the city council, school board or water district deserves our gratitude and respect, whether or not he or she is our candidate of choice.
These are thankless jobs that, if done well, require hours away from home, family and work, acute attention to detail and a certain amount of abuse.
The least voters can do is hear the candidates out, find out what their positions are relative to our concerns and the future of our community, and cast a fair, educated vote.
That much, we hope, went into ballots cast by those who voted early. For those who did not, there is still time to give each candidate a fair shake before voting on Saturday.
In addition to calling the candidates, whether or not you know them, voters may go to the South Jetty Web site, www.portasouthjetty. com, and either listen to it on their computers or download (as an MP3 audio file) the audio from Candidates' Night. The audio will be on the Website through Saturday, May 10.
Also, we published what amounted to a virtual transcript of the voter education forum in last week's South Jetty.
Voters may also acquaint themselves with each candidate's campaign materials.
The point is: For all the effort a candidate puts forth to volunteer for a position that will require hours of additional labor beyond what goes into a normal day for which he or she will not be paid, the least voters can do is make sure they have researched the candidates and are able to cast well-educated votes.
Being a member of the city council, school board or water district board involves much more than a monthly meeting. In most cases, these elected officials read volumes of background material associated with each vote they take in regular and special meetings. In addition, they attend training (some required, some not) sessions, take constituents' phone calls and listen to their concerns while trying to grocery shop, watch their kids' baseball or basketball games or while attending church or a social function. It's a 24/7 situation in which most rights to privacy are sacrificed.
Voting is a right and a privilege, and it is our responsibility as voters to cast educated votes.