The Union Recorder

Opinion

August 28, 2013

OPINION: Effective candidates must weigh risks, rewards for greater good

MILLEDGEVILLE — Qualifying began Monday for local municipal races. New candidates will set out to qualify for City Council seats and others will launch their reelection campaigns throughout the week.

Their motivation to seek public office should not only be welcomed but also invited; but the work doesn’t stop with announcing a candidacy — it’s in fact only beginning.

It’s imperative that voters have a pool of diverse, apt and capable candidates — well-versed on the issues this area is facing. As a citizen, as candidate, and even still as an elected official, it’s not enough to sit on the sidelines with a critical eye and not be willing to put in the work for a better community.

The local community needs candidates with diverse ideas and solutions and a drive and level of dedication to address the issues this city is facing — not just occasionally or when it’s personally advantageous, but for the long haul.

As city and county leaders continue to work on shaping a community vision for the future, who is present at the table when these ideas are crafted is vitally important.

City Council recently experience the filing of the first ethics complaint against a city official since the board’s ethics policy was enacted. How should these matters be addressed by Council in the future and where does the ethics board go from here?

The next Council sworn into office will shape the city’s policies and help formulate the vision for the local community’s future.

Running for public office is most always a commendable means to serve one’s community. Those who answer the call for public service in the political realm give up their time and energy and exert their personal resources for the opportunity to lead.

Qualified and effective candidates must have local interests and the interests of their constituents at heart, placing them ahead of their own. Running for public office must not be a self-serving endeavor.

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