The famous saying is, “There is no Democratic or Republican way to pick up the garbage.” Most of our local officials serve us in positions that are nonpartisan. That was an intentional decision. These positions control the quality of our day-to-day life.

Nonpartisan means cooperation between differing views can be more likely. Folks can be focused on getting their job done rather than making their party look good and the other one look bad. Nonpartisan elections also encourage moderate candidates because they seek votes from across the political spectrum.

Nonpartisan elections tend to be more competitive and less likely to have candidates running unopposed. Nonpartisan elections allow for competitive campaigns in these seats, giving all of us more options.

Nonpartisan elections place more burden on voters to seek information about individual candidates. Voters need to do research. We must read, review what they say and be interested in their skills and leadership styles. The best way is to meet them, to go to forums or public meetings. It takes time. It is an investment.

There is a lot of pressure on nonpartisan candidates to accept endorsements and money from political parties. We can help by urging candidates to refuse to do this. We can make small donations or volunteer as we can to offset the need for resources.

Partisan politics at the state and national level allows assessments based on party platforms. Local decision-making is stronger when we can problem solve together in mutual respect.

I applaud our local candidates who do not take money or choose to affiliate with a political party. Those who pay get to play. That should be me and you as we select commissioners, city officials and school board or health district representatives. Me and you as we fill out our ballots.

Kathy Reim

Sedro-Woolley

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