On the eve of every election, we use this space to remind the voters of the Mahoning and Shenango valleys that Democracy is not a spectator sport and that role of every citizen is to make sure that government is in the hands of those who are committed to the greater good. Today, however, we refrain from issuing such a reminder. Why? Because we are confident that the patriotism that has swept the nation since the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., will result in a record turnout at the polls Tuesday.
Every vote cast will send a clear message to the enemies of freedom: You cannot win.
We recognize that when there are no national or statewide races on the ballot, voter interest declines. But, given what this country has gone through in the last two months and given that we are involved in a worldwide war on terrorism, long lines at the polls Tuesday will be as significant as the millions of flags that are on display.
There are contests in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Mercer and Lawrence counties that deserve the attention of the voters, and there are tax issues that demand sound judgment on the part of the electorate.
We believe that every election is important, which is why we interview candidates in selected races with an eye to making an endorsement. That is what we did over the past month and a half and what follows is a summary of The Vindicator's recommendations for tomorrow's general election.
Board of education (full term): Lock P. Beachum, Marilyn Montes Gonzalez, John Maluso
Board of education (write-in): Clarence Boles
Board of education: Karen Repasky, Diana Petruska
Board of education: Joseph Edwards, Eleanor Polis, Kandace Hagendorn
Trustees: Thomas P. Costello
Board of education: Fred Davis, Mark J. Fulks, Kimberly Poma
Trustees (full term): David Ditzler, Warren Pritichard
Trustees (unexpired term): Richard E. Edwards
Trustees: Mark Naples, Peter Sturbi
Board of education: Laura Stacy, Hugh Gunn
Trustees: Charles Petzinger
Board of education: Mark Squicquero, David Moore
Council-at-large: Robert A. Marchese, Daniel E. Polivka, Gary Fonce
Board of education: Robert Falkner, D. Lynn Gibson
Board of education: Thomas Grumley
Trustees: Jack Simon, W. Gary Litch
Board of education: Richard Malone, John Lallo
Trustees: Howard Bradley, Joseph Gleydura
Trustees: Richard Orwig, Sally Wehmer
Board of education: Raymond Tisone, Lori Kuszmaul
Schools: Levies and bond issues for schools deserve the support of all individuals in the school districts. Voters should not be influenced by those naysayers who have jumped on the "I'm taxed off" bandwagon. If there is waste, as they allege, they should provide the proof. Given the current method of funding public education in Ohio, the support of voters on the local level remains essential
We also strongly endorse the 1.75-mill replacement levy for improvement and maintenance at Mill Creek MetroParks, and a 2-mill renewal levy for operations costs for Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.