2018 offers a season of change

The year is barely underway and already opportunities abound to have an impact on your community. As an election year with a variety of seats likely to be contested, once again regional residents have the opportunity to play an active role either in their government – or else decide who will have those active roles.

Residents interested in serving in a city, park or county office can begin circulating petitions for the 300 signatures necessary to get on the ballot. The deadline to submit petitions is April 9.

Already some have declared their intent for specific offices; some incumbents have yet to decide if they are going to run.

Under any circumstances, there are likely to be new faces sitting in elected offices this year. Why shouldn’t it be you or someone you know?

While there is reason for cautious optimism when it comes to many of our public officials, policy questions abound. Actions on the city, county and state level have continued to draw the ire of many residents. Running for office – getting in the ring – is a great way to influence those issues of concern to you and to your neighbors.

Uncontested seats and little election competition are bad for free societies and bad for our community. Only when ideas are debated and challenged is there a push for better ones.

Of course, election contests should be about just that – ideas, and not about personal attacks or pettiness.

Minot Daily News continues to advocate for new candidates to take an interest in running for office – and also calls for civil behavior throughout the entire process.