The Times’ Take

Once again, the time is coming to select the group of vital individuals who will shape our lives in Crook County for the next few years. And while we’ve always flown the flag of democracy here in the Times office and continue to urge all our readers to cast their votes and make sure to do so from an informed perspective, this year we’d like to ask a little more.

If you are able to, run for an office. Whether it’s school board, town council, a district or any other, if you are willing to learn and have an open mind and a passion for what happens to this community, you are needed.

You need only look at the elected officials serving us today to see not only how deeply their decisions affect all of us on a personal level, but the lengths to which many of them go on our behalves. That’s a tradition we must keep strong for our county, but we can’t do it without your help.

It doesn’t matter your age, background, experience or level of knowledge. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with what your current representatives have achieved.

It matters only that you are willing to listen and learn and that you are a decent, honest human being with the best interests of your neighbors in your heart and a desire to keep this county moving forward, whatever it takes.

Those are the qualifications we need in our elected officials – more than ever in these complicated times. These are qualities that Crook County boasts in abundance.

So if you have the time and ability to serve, we urge you to put your name forward. Several seats in recent elections were filled through write-in votes because no candidates came forward. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this community had an embarrassment of riches on our voting forms this year?

Not everyone is able to serve, we understand that. If that applies to you, please do still get involved. Look closely at your candidates, ask questions and find out more – if there’s something you’d like to know to help you make an informed decision, please tell us.

Democracy is a treasure that asks very little of us in return: for it to work as intended, we all must contribute in whatever way we can. Whether you decide to run, carry on your personal record of making your voice heard in the polling booth or come out to vote for the very first time, we salute you for making that contribution.

Filing dates are May 17 to June 1 for countywide seats (excluding school board, museum board and natural resource district, all of which are elected at the general in November). The deadline for filing with the Secretary of State for state level seats is also on June 1.