We know, we know, this Tuesday’s election likely doesn’t spark the level of interest given the national contest held next year-though it feels like given the unending inundation of media coverage about it we should have had that one by now.
Here are some stats from the last time around when the balloting was limited to cities and a few townships, 2017.
Fremont and White Cloud had turnouts that were just under 20% or one out of 5 registered voters.
One of 5.
Think it sounds pretty small? Well, it is but that year they were the cities in our county that turned out the most voters.
Newaygo went a little over 15 1/2%.
Under 7% or about 1 out of 14 registered.
We can do better. I know we can.
Here are Tuesdays contests.
In Fremont Mayor Jim Rynberg is running unopposed but there are 5 candidates vying for 2 4 year terms on the council.
Sandra Siegel is the lone incumbent in the race along with Mike Dennis, Bob Johnson, Tim Powell and Michael VandenBerg.
Fremont will also decide on a proposed amendment to the city charter regarding the Board of Review
By contrast in Grant (yup, 7%) where Mayor Julie Hallman is also running unopposed the 3 council seats have but two in the running, one a write in candidate. Kate Block is a registered candidate while you’ll need to ink in Mark Dietz’s name to give him your vote.
Seems it’s as hard to get folks to run in our county's Gateway city as it is to get them to vote.
Newaygo Mayor Ed Fedell is unopposed as well but there is competition on the council where four candidates vie for the three available seats. Katie Walercyzk and Lee Black currently hold seats and are joined in the race by Mathew Boynton and Erin Burns.
Only in White Cloud do they have a mayoral race as Mike Kimes is challenging current mayor Jamie Denslow for the seat and like Newaygo, 4 candidates will compete for the 3 open spots on the council, Jerry LeBlanc is a current council member while Herm Becker seeks to return to city hall having held a seat there a few years back. Candice Dault and Lori Shears round out the candidate pool.
Merrill Township has 2 candidates for the Treasurer spot as Cathy Stroop and Victoria Gibbs vie for the partial term ending next November. Merrill also has a vote on the reestablishment of their annual meeting.
Bond proposals are on the ballot for Grant, Baldwin Kent City, Cedar Springs and Oakridge schools in various sections of our county.
So get out there and vote folks. While neither national/state offices nor statewide proposals possess spots on this year’s ballots, the most important of all your voting decisions are there to be made this Tuesday...
The local ones.
“Every election is determined by the people who show up.”- Larry Sabato