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Vote today: Local elections will affect local services

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Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 12:12 am | Updated: 4:16 pm, Fri Jan 25, 2013.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner editorial

Local government deserves more attention than it gets. Today, Fairbanks area residents can help correct that by voting in local elections.

Local governments provide services that fall close to home — emergency services, schools, garbage services, recreational facilities, animal control, zoning and roads, for example.

The quality of these services directly affects our lives. The taxes we pay to cover the cost of these services also directly affect our lives, as well as the quality of the services themselves.

Each person will have a different view of the proper balance to be struck between quality services and taxes. The best way to affect decisions about such issues is to vote for the candidates who not only best reflect a person’s own views but also can effectively represent them.

It isn’t always easy to decide upon the best candidate, but it’s our job as voters to give it our best effort. Today is the day to do it.

Fortunately, most local races feature candidates who have solid records of experience in the community and contrasting views of local government. So voters have a decent diversity of people from whom to choose when they enter the polling places.

Those polling places will be open, as usual, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today. The Fairbanks North Star Borough website has maps of voting precincts and the addresses of their associated polling places. Go to www.co.fairbanks.ak.us and select “Elections” under the “Your Government” category.

Fairbanks borough residents will choose a mayor and several assembly members in this election. In addition, residents of the two cities in the borough — Fairbanks and North Pole — will select council members. Voters also will decide the fate of several propositions.

People often get most caught up in state and national elections. Those elections are important, too, but local elections will affect those services and taxes that are closest to home. They deserve our attention today.

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