We’re getting closer to that time of year, when the filing period for elections in the City of Kingsville and school district are about to open.
This is an opportunity for anyone who is a resident (over the age of 18, who lives in the area for which they are running and is eligible to hold office) to seek a spot on a governing body to serve their communities. It’s the cornerstone of our democracy, which allows the average person to take that step to be an elected representative of the people.
I’d like to take a second to speak to what we as a newspaper plan to do in the coming weeks, once the filing period closes in mid-February. We do intend to provide information on the candidates, such as what their platforms are and what they intend to do should they be re-elected or elected to serve in their respective positions.
This may seem like a trivial question to ask, but what that does is it allows us to put these candidates on the record about their stances. For instance, if a candidate is going to sit with us and say they will never be in support of a property tax increase, and then eventually votes for one down the line, it’s a chance to ask them what changed his or her mind. After all, promises are the easiest thing in the world to make – keeping them is a whole other story for some.
In my more than a decade covering government as a reporter, I learned that it was not uncommon for candidates to promise the moon, especially when it comes to challengers hoping to unseat incumbents. Streets will be fixed, taxes will never be raised, schools will become excellent and situations will improve dramatically.
The downside to such a thing is that reality eventually sets in, and one starts to realize that oftentimes, things can’t change as quickly as one hopes. I don’t say this as a way to discourage or criticize people who run for office and voice their desire to make a difference. I truly believe that most people who do seek election to a governmental body do so with the best of intentions.
My point is that rather than promise the moon, keep your promises based firmly on the ground. Make sure that the foundation from which you plan to launch your vision, and that of the community you intend to serve, is as solid as it can be.
Otherwise, you might find yourself just another person who made a promise they did not keep. And history, as well as voters, are not kind to those officials who do not live up to the hype you created.
Tim Acosta is the editor and publisher of the Kingsville Record and Bishop News. He can be reached at email@example.com.