November election will still be interesting

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, June 6, 2009

Odd year elections may not grab the attention of voters like some other years because they can lack the big-name races, but that doesn’t make them any less important.

In fact, Ohio’s 1s, 3s, 5s, 7s and 9s are vital to the local communities and generate a lot more interest and gossip.

Who picked up petitions? Who has filed? What is the real reason they did that? Who is jockeying for political position?

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All those questions get asked a lot in the months leading up to an odd-year election like we have in 2009.

Here we are not even in summer yet and this is already starting to heat up.

With 73 local positions up for grabs this year, you can rest assured that politics will dominate the late summer and fall.

The races may not be as “sexy” or high profile as U.S. President or county commissioner, but each one mean a lot to the people in those communities.

School boards are always among the most interesting, especially in districts that may be facing some sort of community division or ideological dispute.

We expect all seven Lawrence County public school boards will garner a significant amount of interest.

And this is how it should be.

We are happy to see so many parents are interested in the future of their children’s education. It certainly reflects positively on all these districts that there are those who are willing to step up and lead by example.

Let’s face it. No one is going to run for school board — or any of these other elected positions that are up for vote this year — for the paycheck.

City and village council positions are also vital to the community, as these are the individuals that help shape the policies and the laws of these individual communities.

In Ironton, four seats are in the balance. With a seven-person board, that means that the group coming in could swing the balance of power and have significant impact on the city’s future.

While the village posts are the same thing but maybe to a slightly lesser degree, city council is a job that doesn’t necessarily possess a job description that gets people lining up.

For the most part, it is relatively thankless, often requiring long hours, homework and being able to take a fair share of public criticism.

Some of our best citizens who truly make a difference in the community aren’t cut out to be on council because they cannot make the commitment or handle what comes with public office.

Certainly, it requires those who have thick skin and are willing to make some tough decisions.

In the townships, trustees are an important figure that has a vital role with keeping them clean, paving roads and maintaining other infrastructure.

So just because the presidential race isn’t in the balance, don’t tune out the election.

It will almost certainly get interesting.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at