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What you need to know for 11/19/2017

Editorial: Make a real impact on your community by voting in today's local elections

Editorial: Make a real impact on your community by voting in today's local elections

Local government is where decisions are made that have a direct impact on our daily lives
Editorial: Make a real impact on your community by voting in today's local elections
Photographer: Shutterstock

One of the best ways to have influence on what goes on in your community is to help select the people who serve in government on the local level.

So if you want to help shape the town or city you live in, if you want to lend your voice to what happens in the next couple of years to you and your neighbors, you’ll drag your butt over to the polling place, get out of your car, stand in line for a few minutes, take your ballot to the little cubby, fill in the little circles, and make your voice heard.

On the ballot Tuesday are town supervisors and town board members and city council members and local county legislators, and a few mayors — the local-est of local representation.

And in these elections, winners aren’t determined by tens of thousands of votes, but by as few as a single vote.

Maybe yours.

These are the people who set a portion of your property taxes. They’re the ones who decide which potholes get filled, which housing developments get approved, which water and sewer pipes get replaced, whether the local park gets new playground equipment.

This is the level at which they decide on leaf pickup and where the stop signs go.

They decide whether to grant special tax exemptions for seniors and veterans. They select the people who help decide whether someone gets a permit to build an addition to their house or a permit to build a Wal-Mart.

These are your direct line to your state and federal representatives. These are the hands-on, on-your-street, corner-them-at-the-supermarket-level government officials you know by name.

Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison once said, “Not voting is not a protest. It is a surrender.”

Don’t surrender.

Take a few minutes and vote.

ENDORSEMENTS

The Gazette made several endorsements in key races and ballot propositions this election season.

Our editorial board met with each of the candidates and reviewed their records and pledges, and then voted on who we thought would best serve the citizens.

We also met and discussed several ballot propositions, including all three state proposals and the Saratoga Springs charter referendum. Here is a review of our recommendations:

Schenectady City Council: Marion Porterfield, Damonni Farley and John Mootooveren.

Saratoga Springs Mayor: Mark Baker.

Saratoga Springs charter change: Vote yes.

State Proposal 1 (State constitutional convention): Vote no.

State Proposal 2 (Removing pensions from public officials convicted of felonies): Vote yes.

State Proposal 3 (State land bank for exchange of forever wild land): Vote yes.

ELECTION LETTERS

Between September 1 and Nov. 5, The Gazette published 126 letters to the editor related to today’s races. Thank you for sharing your views with your fellow readers.

The deadline for letters related to the Nov. 6, 2018, general election is 5 p.m. Friday, October 26, 2018. Now you have no excuse to wait until the last minute.

Happy voting.

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