Our View: Informed Voters and the Municipal Elections

The signs appear every spring like clockwork. Popping up in yards right alongside the daffodils and tulips that usher in the new season, campaign signs remind us that Kirksville’s municipal elections are just around the corner.

In an interview with Truman Media Network reporters last fall, Adair County Clerk Sandy Collop commented on the increasing number of registered student voters in Adair County. This increase can be attributed to the fervor of a national election. But the excitement shouldn’t stop with national politics. Unlike national or state elections, which generate extended media coverage, local elections can be lost in the hubbub of daily life. The sad fact is many people don’t prioritize city elections, when the reality is that municipal elections can have just as profound an impact on your daily life as national politics do, if not more.

We, the Truman Media Network Editorial Board, urge you to vote in the municipal elections next week. Municipal elections this year are April 4 and include such topics as a half cent sales tax for the Parks and Recreation department, two open seats for the city council and three for the school board.

It’s easy to speed past the yard signs with unfamiliar names written across them and ignore what’s happening in this community. However, a majority of Truman students are here nine months out of the year, if not more, meaning dismissal of Kirksville elections is allowing the community most of us spend a majority of our time in to make sweeping changes that might impact our daily lives without our input. That is a concerning amount of power for the Truman State University student body to turn their backs on.

In addition to casting a vote in local Kirksville elections, we, the TMN Editorial Board, encourage Truman students to make sure they are informed on the issues before going to cast their ballots because many of them could have lasting implications in the city.

For example, according to the Kirksville Daily Express, if the Parks and Recreation sales tax goes through, it could potentially add around $1.2 million to the Parks and Recreation budget. This money could go toward maintenance of locations in town such as the Kirksville Aquatic Center which, according to the Kirksville Daily Express, could be looking at $20,000 to $7 million improvements on the facility. The passage or failure of this tax could impact the future of facilities many people around the community use.

Also, according to the Kirksville Daily Express, there are three open seats in this municipal election for the Kirksville School Board which could potentially get filled by three brand new people with brand new changes, ideas and visions. It is important for voters in the community to learn more about these candidates, which one can do by going on the Kirksville Daily Express website. Board members often have a lot of say about different programs offered, where funding should and should not be spent and other big reforms within the public school system that could either help or hinder the community.

Complacency in voting or assuming a certain proposition or person will or will not get approved is something we, the Truman Media Network Editorial Board, advocate against.

The potholes in the road Truman students might complain about, the local organizations such as Lyceum, Kirksville Arts Association, Kirksville Community Chorus, Curtain Call Theatre and other organizations Truman students might be involved with and the local businesses some Truman students enjoy visiting could be impacted by the people we elect into positions of power in our community and the different expenses and propositions we approve or decline.

We urge Truman students to know what’s going on in the city of Kirksville and to take a stance in these upcoming local elections by making an informed vote.