Have you ever thought about running for public office? | SkyHiNews.com

Have you ever thought about running for public office?

It’s hard to turn on the television or the radio these days and not hear about the 2008 presidential elections.

Primaries, caucuses, pollsters, predictions.

Did her tears help her win New Hampshire? Can Romney win Michigan? Was Bill Richardson really running for vice president?

Unless you have an infinite tolerance for analyzed minutiae, you are getting sick of election talk.

Unfortunately, this political burnout could have a negative effect on our local elections, which are right around the corner.

In April, every single municipality in this county will host an election and an incredible number of seats are up for grabs – including the mayoral seats in Hot Sulphur Springs, Grand Lake, Fraser and Granby.

Before you let the drone of political punditry put you to sleep, throw some water on your face and wake up.

In many ways, the course of the local election will have more ramifications for your day-to-day life than the person who takes over the Oval Office in Washington, D.C.

While the president of the United States helps steer the course of our economy, environment and foreign policy, those people who sit on our town councils have sway over what is close to home ” from the sidewalks under your feet to the views you live here to appreciate.

As the election approaches, we ask two things of you ” get involved or pay attention.

We know that running for office requires a lot. On many levels, you lose your privacy as the entire community gains access to your time. To be truly effective, elected officials must throw themselves into the books ” researching statutes, precedents and the opinions of the constituents.

But the sacrifices are also rewarded with the knowledge that you have made a real difference in the direction of your community.

According to the Colorado Municipal League, elected officials wear many hats ” decision-maker, financier, constructive critic, intergovernmental team player and public relations representative.

You are your community’s biggest cheerleader and loudest gadfly.

At times, the people who run for public office are those with one issue that has pushed them to action. But the more effective leaders are those who are motivated by the desire to benefit their community overall ” those who will still have the motivation to put in the long hours, withstand the criticism and work through the learning curve long beyond the resolution of one issue.

We would like to encourage young people in particular to consider running. We often hear people say they want to run for office, but they feel they are “too young.”

Legally, you must be 18 years of age on the date of the election in order to be eligible; you must be a U.S. citizen; you must have lived in your town for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the election.

To learn which seats are open, visit http://www.skyhidailynews.com. Read the article “Municipal elections coming up in April” in the Election section on the left-hand rail of our Web site. The deadline to enter the race for all towns except Winter Park is Feb. 29. The deadline for Winter Park is March 7.

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