Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Listen, then act

With Americans currently stuck as passengers in an economic boat captained by others, it's time to turn attention to something ordinary citizens can do something about: local and state elections.

The first local Pizza and Politics forum of the election season, organized and conducted by this newspaper, is tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Bellevue City Hall.

Four candidates for City Council will square off in quests to be elected to three seats on the council. They include Tammy Eaton, Brett Gelskey, Chris Koch and Shaun Mahoney. They will face questions from reporters and voters.

As a charter city, Bellevue marches to its own drummer and has annual elections. Although this wears down the electorate a little, the race is particularly important this year because the cash-strapped community also is facing the uncertainties of the financial upheaval that has rocked the nation.

Voters in Bellevue should be interested in how candidates will navigate these troubled waters because their decisions will affect the lives of everyone in the city.

For example, the city has been asked to pay new fees for enhanced emergency dispatch services from a budget already stretched tight to cover basic services.

On Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 6:30 p.m., candidates for Blaine County sheriff, Board of Commissioners and District 25 state representative will be hosted in a similar forum at the old Blaine County Courthouse.

Voters can shed any sense of helplessness by trying to find the smartest people for the big job of helping the valley and the state get through these troubled waters.

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