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Don’t let the ‘off-year’ election stop you from your civic duty



Published: Mon, November 4, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

If you believe that all politics is local — we certainly do — then Tuesday’s election is even more important than the presidential and statewide contests. Why? Because the office of mayor, councilman, township trustee, village councilman or school board member has a direct impact on your life.

If your street doesn’t get plowed in the winter, who do you call? Certainly not the White House or governor’s office. Or, if your child is being bullied in school, it isn’t the federal or state departments of education that will intervene; it’s your local school board member.

And, if your neighborhood has flooding problems, or is experiencing an uptick in crime, it’s the trustee who hears from you.

It’s unfortunate that the term “off-year election” has come to mean lack of voter interest. The drop-off in participation from a presidential or statewide contest is dramatic. It shouldn’t be that way.

Thus, we urge residents of the Mahoning Valley to cast ballots in Tuesday’s general election even if there are no contested races in your communities. In addition to the candidates, there are numerous issues that have an effect on the quality of life.

The Vindicator’s commitment to elections is long-standing. We spend hours in endorsement meetings with candidates for office. Based on what we learn, in those interviews and elsewhere, we issue endorsements.

What follows are our recommendations for various offices and issues:

Mahoning County

Youngstown

We did not make an endorsement in the mayor’s race because none of the candidates meets our standard for holding such an important position.

Council president: Charles Sammarone, who chose not to seek a full term as mayor.

School board: Lock P. Beachum Sr., Jackie Adair and Jerome Williams.

Campbell

Mayor: William VanSuch.

Austintown

Trustee: Jim Davis and Ken Carano.

School board: Kathy Mock, David Schnurrenberger and Ken Jakubec.

Boardman

School board: John P. Landers, Kimberly Poma and Mark J. Fulks.

Poland

Trustee: Mark Naples and Robert Lidle

School board: Larry Dinopoulos and Richard Beau Weaver.

Canfield

Trustee: Tony Bettile and Marie Cartwright.

Trumbull County

Liberty

Trustee: Stan Nudell and Jason T. Rubin.

Warren

School board: Robert L. Faulkner Sr.

Issues

We urge voters in Mahoning County to continue supporting the mental health board by renewing its five-year levy.

In Youngstown, we remain steadfastly opposed to the charter amendment that would make fracking in the city illegal.

We support the charter amendment that would dissolve the park and recreation commission.

We reaffirm our support for public education by urging voters to renew tax levies for their school districts.

If you have decided not to participate in Tuesday’s election, we would simply remind you of that age-old saying: If you don’t vote, don’t complain.


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