I oftentimes wonder about the city of Clinton’s vision. Maybe I should concern my mind with other mundane topics, but I’m not sure if there’s a clear-cut vision for the future.

Clinton’s not the only town suffering from an incomplete path to the future. It’s our town, though, and in a few weeks, residents of Clinton and other Iowa towns will have an opportunity at putting people in charge that can create a better future.

In case you’re not aware, the political season didn’t end after the 2016 presidential election. The rhetoric hasn’t ended and major newspapers are highlighting the city of Clinton’s role in the national election, but most importantly for your direct pocketbook and livelihood, local elections are taking place in November.

The choices aren’t as plentiful in Clinton as they are in Camanche, but there’s still plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t avoid the polls this time of year.

Do you enjoy going to local parks? How about taking a gander at your property tax bill? Or better yet, let’s drive on some of those roads in town.

The majority of life is spent in the confines of local politics. We drive the same roads to and from work. We see the same scenery, likely spurred by economic development in creating jobs and leading to construction of buildings, homes and schools. Our lives are shaped in large part by a group of people who meet three times a month at City Hall.

Yet, when it comes to electing those people to be in those seats, we fail to spend the five minutes necessary to vote. In Clinton in 2016, about 70 percent of registered voters made their voice heard by casting a ballot in the national election. During the most recent city election in 2015, that number of registered voters who actually voted hovers closer to the 20 percent mark.

Residents desire something more out of Clinton. That’s what I see on social media and hear when I’m out in the community. So why do municipal elections generate such little attention?

I’m assuming it has something to do with the lack of 24-hour news coverage of political barbs traded between political parties. If we could just constantly film some of the candidates, cutting up their comments into controversial soundbites, then maybe the public would put more effort into what’s already a far more important election than national ones.

In our area, Camanche and Clinton will feature 15 people running for an opportunity to serve their communities. This week offered candidate forums in Camanche and Clinton, and another meet and greet will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday with the candidates at the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce building.

The Clinton Herald also will highlight some of the events at the forums this week and will offer readers a glimpse into each candidate’s platform via a questionnaire to be printed closer to the election.

What isn’t going to happen, though, is the same political rhetoric that we’re used to in the national elections. Yard signs will dot the landscape and candidates will canvas neighborhoods searching for votes. The nastiness that surrounds our national elections won’t be there.

Your blood may not boil regarding a specific candidate, but it shouldn’t serve as a deterrent to not vote. This election matters. There are several items happening within the confines of City Hall. Having a mandate from the majority of citizens is something that can aid in creating a better future for the city of Clinton.

That mandate can’t happen with less than a quarter of registered voters showing up at the polls on Nov. 7. Make sure your voice is heard through the ballot box early next month.

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor of the Clinton Herald. He can be reached at scottlevine@clintonherald.com.

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