To the editor: For a healthy and strong democracy, our country, our state, and our communities require citizen involvement, that is, voting and leadership.
On Oct. 6, voters will select members of the city of Fairbanks and North Pole city councils, the Borough Assembly, the borough school board and the Interior Gas Utility. These positions are nonpartisan.
In peacetime, our democracy and community ask citizens to vote, do jury service, and be willing to lead. It is the third duty, providing leadership, about which I write. Fairbanks needs you.
Throw your hat into the ring and run for local office. Decisions made locally have a dramatic impact on our community and upon us as individuals. Local officials decide what to tax, how much to tax, and how to spend the tax proceeds. Our elected representatives decide how much will be spent on education, police, fire, roads, recreation, parks, animal control, land management and establishing health and safety codes. As a member of a city council, the Borough Assembly, school board or utility, your leadership will work to help and improve our community.
Wondering about running for office? Stop by outside the Borough Administrative building, at 907 Terminal St., this Saturday, June 27. The municipal clerks of Fairbanks, North Pole and the borough are offering a candidate open house from 9 a.m. to noon. The clerks will provide a plethora of information about the offices, the duties, and the legal requirements regarding the office and campaigning. The League of Women Voters will have information about how to run for local office. Please stop in and learn about how you might become a leader in our community. This open house is outside to permit social distancing. Please wear a mask.
Whatever you do, please vote. We have three important elections coming soon: the primary election Aug. 18, the municipal election Oct. 6, and the general election Nov. 3. Your vote counts! In Alaska it is not unusual for elections to be won or lost by one vote. Elections have been tied and decided by a flip of a coin. Please make your voice heard. Vote!