Practically everybody likes to gripe about government and here in Lewisburg there's a city election on Tuesday. Early voting ended yesterday. Your Constitutionally guaranteed right to do something about your gripe comes again on Tuesday. According to a cursory examination of early voter turnout and a comparison to similar turnout four years ago, it's entirely possible that there will be fewer people voting in this city election compared to the number who voted in the similar race four years ago. So, as the saying goes, if you don't vote, you really don't have any standing to gripe about City Hall. Our recommendation is that city residents go to the polls Tuesday and exercise their right to vote. There are a lot of reasons to do so. You could honor the men and women who put their lives on the line -- past and present -- for our way of life. You could also do it for your own self-respect and ability to say later that you did or didn't vote for an official who did or said something boneheaded; not it's happened here. By and large it would appear that the city government has been meeting the needs of the residents. Garbage is collected and we've not received letters to the editor complaining about the shift in collection days or the expansion of curbside recycling. Water service is consistent. Sewage hasn't backed up at pumping stations as it did in another municipality north of here 10 years ago.
Fires continue to be suppressed, children are taught how to avoid and escape flames, and the police department continues to catch criminals and deliver services in its own Mayberry sort of way, although it would be hard to find a one-bullet wonder like Barney Fife among our officers in blue here.
This is no to say there is no trouble in paradise. There have been course corrections to report and there will be more. That's to be expected anywhere people try to do something together.
This spring, there's even a candidate who's running for office because, as he put it, he likes what he sees and wants to join the team. He's not running against the incumbent. He's running for the position and he's to be applauded for his clean campaign. The incumbent is one of the more quiet members of council and he his a track record to consider, as would any incumbent who'd ask voters to allow their continued service.
This city will either have its first African-American mayor, or its first woman at the top spot on the Council. The man isn't too much like President Obama. The woman isn't Hillery Clinton. They're both waging worthwhile campaigns.
Two men who've had private and government careers are, like others in local government, offering their experience to serve their fellow man. One is soft spoken; the other more outspoken. They're both waging worthwhile campaigns.
Running for office takes personal initiative. While some might question motives, and we've not heard that here, these folks are doing something that shouldn't be ignored by a failure to vote.
If you're registered, you ought to vote. If not, do so well before August of 2010 when the county holds a general election.
Don't just gripe about your government without voting.