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home : opinion : editorial
September 19, 2020

8/5/2020 10:55:00 AM
Make a difference

One of the most impressive comments we hear from area citizens in a given year is: "I just want to make a difference."
It is a breath of fresh air in an era of entitlement and too many "what's-in-it-for-me" attitudes.
In the next few days, we need community-minded people to step up and make a difference for our cities and schools. The final day to file for city council and school board is Tuesday at 5 p.m.
At press time on Tuesday, the Windom School Board had candidates for three of the four available positions and the Windom City Council had a candidate for mayor, but no candidates for either available seat in Wards 1 and 2.
Other area cities and schools have candidates, but the slates are not all full. At this point, the county has very few true races with more than one candidate.
Granted, these are not easy jobs. Our leaders often face tough decisions and criticism.
What's more, the pay isn't great and the hours can be extensive. But again this is an opportunity to make a difference in your community, to help it - and its people - reach full potential.
Those running for school board can play a role in shaping a better future for our young people. Whether you are filing for office in Mt. Lake, Red Rock Central, Westbrook-Walnut Grove, or Windom, you will receive the bonus of working with quality administrations and faculties.
We are fortunate in that sense. That statement is not true for every school board member in Minnesota.
Meanwhile, the challenges of area city council positions can vary from city to city. Parks, streets and economic development are among the hot-button items for many communities. In addition to those things, the Windom City Council is working to solve a housing shortage.
Too often, people use lack of experience as an excuse for not filing.
Whether one is on a city council or school board, there are bound to be critical needs that pop up. Maybe, for instance, a key administrator will depart, or an important building need will surface.
It is at those times it becomes obvious that being a great elected official does not require some magic inside knowledge or experience. Rather, we need people who are willing to put in the time and unbiased research that lead to fair decisions benefitting the entire community.
Some of our area's best city council members have been people with virtually no city-related background or experience. Likewise, we've seen terrific school board members who previously knew little of school operations, beyond their own educations.
It takes just a minute to file for office, yet that very action could help bring positive changes that last a lifetime. At the very least, please think about it.
    - Rahn Larson

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