2018-07-05 / Editorial

Up to you to learn candidates, issues

For the first time since 2014, Jamestown will have a competitive election for town council.

In a busy gubernatorial year for local voters, with governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and treasurer on the ballot, this election season also includes two congressional races and two seats up for grabs at the state legislature. That means there is a lot for residents to contemplate that will have a more direct impact on our island.

Half of the council candidates are newcomers so no policy track record exists for them. So, in the next four months, it’s incumbent upon you to get to know them and where they stand.

There are several key issues on the horizon that will impact the town for decades, and the next council could shape that future. These include what to do with the ambulance barn, how to invest in Fort Getty and mending the relationship with the Friends of the Jamestown Seniors and how that impacts the senior center. The next council also could be responsible for the possible fallout if any of the bond issues — school repairs, library renovations and golf course clubhouse — are defeated. Those bonds alone could cost $9.8 million if they are approved, and will have major impacts on these three areas.

So, become engaged and study these issues. Ask questions. Attend any meet-the-candidate events around town and go to the debates The Jamestown Press will host in the fall. Both local parties also have websites and Facebook pages with candidate information and their stances on certain subjects.

Know where you stand on these topics so you can find out which candidates best align with your views.

There’s a lot on the line this fall and it may seem a long way away — especially during the lazy days of summer — but these key decisions are coming up fast. Make sure you’re ready so they don’t pass you by.

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