(I began writing this on the day of the election, but on the following day, I held back posting it, so not to detract from the important announcement David Tatarowicz had made about the realistic possibility of saving the Bookstore.)
But now on the elections:
On the issue of representation, I would say that there are certain underlying “moral” principles that are operative in functioning democracies and in the conduct of democratic government.
In our society, we believe that these principles are just as applicable to small and local governments as they are to more distant and larger governments.
I've been told by some that it was important that I vote because some people are running for the office of judge. Their names appear on the ballot.
Others are also running for the offices, these are running for Trustees for the Village of Shorewood. They are incumbents running to retain their seats, but their names do not appear on the ballot because no one opposes their candidacy. Then who are their constituents, who do they represent?
Representation and therefore elections are fundamental postulates of democracies. It is here in the election process where we can make choices as to whom will represent us.
But if I'm opposed to any of the incumbents running for office, how can I indicate that choice when all names running for the position are absent? It seems as though the position was not open or there was no one running for that particular office.
I cannot vote for anyone in opposition. I cannot even write-in a candidate that I would like to vote for.
It is not the fault of the one running to retain the office, that is the incumbent, that he/she does not have anyone in opposition. Yet there have been some citizens willing to be appointed as trustees when a vacancy is to be filled by appointment.
So there is a desire for being in office if it's the easy way, but not running against incumbents.
Defeating an incumbent has its difficulties.
I'm willing to speak up against this situation where representation appears absent because it seems that certain democratic principles are being neglected. And I see a certain denial of democratic principle, if not of “moral” principle.
Who's to speak up against this denied right? I'm sure there are others out there with similar feelings.
I think those in government and those running for office should at the next election tell us in advance that they will be running for office and intend to take out papers long before they apply, so that we know who's running before the application time closes down.
I think that the Shorewood Board of Trustees should announce at least a month before it is conventional to take out these papers, that an election is coming up and that certain seats occupied by certain people will be up for election. I doubt if there are many people in Shorewood who even know how many are running for Trustees nor can even name one of them.
The Board should make this announcement in the interest of all of us, so that as many as possible can take out papers to run for these seats. Candidates should tell us how they intned to represent us.
Two Term Limitation.
I think that in order to assure that we have candidates to run initially, that the office of Trustee should be limited to two terms, so that some can run for what is really an empty seat.
At least two uninitiated candidates running for a vacate seat would be ideal. The Board should take steps to limit the term of office to two terms.
This might avoid the question of the undemocratic nature of gaining office or regaining office without opposition or without citizen choice.
No elected without opposition.
It should be established that no seat should be filled without running against an opposing candidate and that we should have another election when there are no opposing candidates.
Then we should keep the seat open until we have at least two opposing candidates. No more seats by appointment. Who do appointed candidates represent?
As it is, no one represents me on the Board of Trustee, so why should I even bother to vote? No so-called “elected” official in Shorewood represents anyone. So why should anyone come in to vote?
If incumbents can regain their seat without opposition, that is, without being elected., why even have an "election?"
Aren't elections and the way we run them fundamental to democracies? Running without opposition, I see as a form of “self-appointment.” Don't you think?
I'm not a moralist, but I strongly believe that democracy should be made to work.
Let's hear from you. WHAT DO YOU THINK?