On Sunday, Naperville will welcome a new mayor. In mid-May, Buffalo Grove will follow suit.
Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico and Buffalo Grove Village President Beverly Sussman are two among many leaders bowing out in the next couple weeks as recently elected officials are sworn into office, bringing new voices to the boards that shape our villages, schools, parks and libraries.
In some cases, these officials emerged from bruising election battles. In others, they ran unopposed.
But regardless of how they reached office, what comes next is up to them — and to those of us who call the suburbs home. As residents and taxpayers, we have a stake in how newly elected and returning officials fare over the next four years.
That stake begins with exercising our right to vote.
If you did not cast a ballot in the April 4 election, vow to do better in the next — and the one after that.
And if you think your vote doesn’t make much of a difference, consider the final makeup of the Yorkville School District 115.
Candidates Leslie Smogor and Jason Demas earned the exact same number of votes when the final tallies were counted, meaning they tied for the fourth and final seat. Ultimately, Demas got the post this week — after a random drawing of ping-pong balls from a coffee can.
A single voter — instead of a plastic ball — could have decided that election.
But while voting is an important step in getting the best representation, it is far from the only one.
Citizens and taxpayers are important participants in local governments, and to do our part we must remain informed. That’s why it’s vital to read a local newspaper, pay attention to newsletters sent by taxing bodies, follow government bodies on social media and, yes, consider attending public meetings to see your elected officials — and tax dollars — at work.
It’s also important to ask questions, share your thoughts, speak up for what you believe. And don’t wait until you’re angry to make your voice heard.
Disagreements, we must point out, are a healthy part of an active, working democracy. But at times in recent years, disputes have gotten so ugly that elected officials have resigned rather than put themselves and their families through vicious verbal attacks and physical threats. That kind of vitriol chases away those who set out to serve and has a chilling effect on others who might think twice about the risks of running for office.
In the coming days, boards will thank outgoing members for their service. We join them in their appreciation. And we wish the best to those making their first steps into public service.
We join you on that journey.
Ino Saves New
via rk2’s favorite articles on Inoreader https://ift.tt/NjHYbtm
April 28, 2023 at 08:45AM