Archive for Thursday, January 4, 2007

Candidates make election process successful

January 4, 2007

Although most of us might still be trying to clear our heads from last fall's election cycle, just two-and-a-half weeks remain before the candidate deadline for important local elections. Those wishing to file for De Soto City Council or the De Soto USD 232 Board of Education must do so by noon Jan. 23.

As of Tuesday, two candidates have filed for a seat on the council and two incumbents have filed for another term on the board. It is our hope robust slates of candidates develop for both bodies in the next fortnight.

For our electoral system to work effectively, talented individuals have to step forward. This can be a challenge on the local level where the prestige of serving may not outweigh the time-consuming commitment or negative comment from friends and neighbors.

There is certainly a lot of debate in both the city and the school district. Both would be best served if enough candidates filed to force a debate on those issues before a February primary.

Among the issues, city council candidates could address the newly minted downtown revitalization plan, the need for growth to help pay for the new wastewater plant, coming to a decision on the city's long-term water needs, and the longstanding need to broaden the tax base with additional commercial development.

The school board races will focus on bond issues and the related issues of school sizes and boundaries. A board election in the shadow of a failed bond referendum and in advance of a new proposal will be interesting, but it will afford incumbents and opponents alike a chance to sound plans that could find traction with the same voters who will ultimately make a decision on the district's facilities needs.

There is a great deal of talent in De Soto. We are optimistic fresh approaches to city and school district issues can be found if the right people make the commitment to run.

Finally, we would add that talent will be needed to fill the seat being vacated by Linda Zindler. On her eight years on the council, Zindler always came to meetings prepared, handled defeat and triumph on the council with quiet dignity, took on her share of extra-council duty, made thoughtful not emotional decisions and had a long memory for points sometimes overlooked in city staff reports or during council discussion.

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