Editorial: As municipal elections qualifying approaches, give some thought to running for office

Election season is quickly approaching.

Qualifying for municipal elections in Whitfield and Murray counties begins next month. You can check out the entire qualifying schedule for the two counties in our coverage area on page 1 today.

While local races for school board and city council seats may not be as exciting as a hotly contested governor's race or a presidential election that has global ramifications, they are nevertheless extremely important.

It's often said that while state and national matters grab the headlines, local government has the most effect on our daily lives. School boards, for example, set policy on student dress codes and school calendars while setting the property tax rate that directly affects you. City councils also have the property tax-levying authority while also deciding how often your garbage will be picked up or how many officers the police department will have to patrol the streets.

The most prominent positions that may face opposition are the mayor of Dalton and two seats on the City Council, as well as three seats on the Dalton Board of Education. Current school board chairman Rick Fromm has decided not to run for re-election after some 16 years on the school board. That means we'll have at least one new face on the city board of education.

We hope to see many area residents offer themselves for these elected positions. We firmly believe that the more people who run for a position, the better. Not only are we able to hear differing opinions, candidates must justify to the public why he or she is best suited to serve in the position. When there is no opposition a candidate can skate by without answering questions from the public.

The local municipal election day is Tuesday, Nov. 5, so be sure to mark your calendar. Also be on the lookout for the early voting dates. In the meantime, give some thought to running for a local elected office.

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