WRITE-INS SHOULD FILL CITY VACANCIES
What do Imbler, North Powder, Cove and Summerville have in common?
Besides being cities in Union County, each community has vacancies on its city council with no candidates who have filed for the Nov. 5 election. Why did this happen? Perhaps the word did not get out of the openings. Or maybe current councilors did not call their neighbors and friends to urge them to file for the election. Citizen apathy is another issue.
WHATEVER the reason, Imbler has no one running for mayor or for two council seats, and current terms expire at the end of the year. North Powder also has two council seats with no candidates. Cove has three blank spots on the ballot for councilors and Summerville has two council seats without candidates.
One thing is known: cities will not operate very long or very effectively without people willing to step up and volunteer to serve on their councils.
So what can be done in Imbler, North Powder, Cove and Summerville? It's too late to file to have a candidate's name printed on the ballot, but willing residents can announce they are write-in candidates.
DECLARING a write-in candidacy is not difficult. The person could take out an ad in the newspaper, asking for write-in votes. They could post flyers around town with a picture of themselves and a request that voters write in their name. Or they could go to the local grocery store for an hour or two a day, shake hands with people and spread the word.
The county clerk will add up the write-in votes and pass the information on to the cities. It's up to the various city councils to determine if the apparent write-in winner is qualified to serve under the city charter. Of course, if no one surfaces as a write-in candidate, the city council can make an appointment later.
Think about it. Our democracy works best when voters, not councilors, select who will serve on their city councils.
The Seattle Mariners are sidelined for the post-season while American League West teams Oakland and Anaheim are battling to move on to the next round leading to the World Series. Seattle, which led the West consistently early in the summer, did not make the playoffs.
MARINER BRASS now has some time to reflect on how to improve next year's team. Seattle has a quality pitching staff. Improving the Mariners comes down to bats. How many games were lost in August and September when innings ended and Mariner runners were left standing on bases?
Seattle should work to bring in a couple of new, quality hitters. Someone with a nice long-ball capacity able to hit it into the outfield bleachers wouldn't hurt either.