Scary article in the Decatur-Herald (Decatur, Illinois) today - "Counties struggle to find candidates for local boards". This article made me sad, and livid at the same time.
There are those of us like Coldwarrior, Loren Heal and others that are relentless at recruiting not only Precinct Committeemen, but also people to run for public office. Myself, I was just elected to the Effingham City Council.
When I read an article like the one linked above, I can only shake my head. We concentrate so much on federal and state issues that we neglect our local offices. Don't get me wrong, there are those that are very into watchdogging their local boards like Kirk Allen in Edgar County Illinois who just exposed possible misappropriation of funds and improper training of 911 dispatchers by the Edgar County Board.
The local offices, whether it's town council, township trustees, school board, or even park district board, are some of the most important to pay attention to and recruit candidates for. Some of these districts like the school and park districts are special taxing districts that could have more power over your property taxes than other local government offices. We MUST recruit conservatives to run for these positions.
I hear people talk about time requirements and having an unwillingness to put themselves out there in front of the public, but it's all an excuse why not to get involved. It's the same excuse we hear from people who are long term Precinct Committeemen, but are more interested in attending once a month meetings to say they are a part of something than rather actually doing something like walk precincts, walk parades, or sit at the GOP County Fair booth for a few hours one week. For someone that just got done student teaching, is a co-coordinator of a local Tea Party, works full-time, has two kids and a mortgage to worry about, I don't want to hear about not having time. I don't have the time (or patience) to hear about others not having the time! It's one thing to sit on the sideline and yell at the ref making calls, but it's quite another to step up and volunteer to be the ref getting yelled at. We can all be armchair Presidents, Representatives, Senators, or even County Board members, but you must be willing to step up and run. Your communities need you!!!
So start recruiting your friends or family to run. Consider running for local office yourself. If your county is like mine, then in 2012 all the county board seats are up for re-election, plus township supervisors and trustees, State's Attorney, and other County offices (not to mention Precinct Committeeman seats). We all want to take our country back at the top of the government food chain, but we can take steps to take our communities back at the bottom of the government food chain where - quite honestly - government has more impact on our daily lives than anything that goes on in Washington DC or our state capitols.
Will you run for office the next election cycle? Or will there be nobody to vote for?