This Tuesday, November 5, is election day in cities and some towns across the state for local offices, including mayoral and council contests.
Not too long ago, local elections in Massachusetts routinely drew voter turnouts of 80-90 percent, almost equivalent to, if not exceeding, presidential elections. However, in recent decades, voter turnout typically has been no more than 30 percent for municipal elections.
We find it ironic that local elections attract the attention of only a fraction of the voters who turn out for the state and national elections. Local government, and those whom we elect to serve in those posts, have much more of an impact on our daily lives than do our state and federal governments.
Local government is in charge of our public safety departments, our schools, our trash collection, the condition of our streets, and almost everything else in between.
The quality of life in our hometown communities affects our families and ourselves — and our property values — far more directly than what transpires at the state and national levels.
So we urge all of our readers to get out and vote on Tuesday. The aphorism about the weather — that we all complain about it, but can’t do anything about it — does not apply to our local government.
We do indeed have the ability to affect what happens at our local government level — but only we if take the time to vote.