Community vision

When the town meeting polls open next week, Bar Harbor voters will choose from five candidates seeking two open seats on the Town Council. The candidates represent a variety of backgrounds, experience and expertise. Their positions on the pressing issues of the day, including a housing crunch, future economic growth and broadband access, are varied as well.

While some may be tempted to make a choice based on the candidates’ positions on specific issues, the topics that are front and center at this time can drop off the radar screen in a flash, should more serious and pressing challenges arise. Effectively overseeing the management of a community with a total budget of nearly $20 million, and a dedicated staff of seasoned managers and scores of employees, requires skills beyond the ability to pontificate on hypothetical issues.

It is doubly important that voters choose candidates who will take the responsibilities of office seriously. Voters need real faith in their candidates’ dedication to putting the interests of the entire citizenry first – rather than beating a one-note drum of pet peeves or using the position to settle personal scores.

At the national level, a large percentage of the citizenry bemoan the choices put forth by both major parties in the race for president. Often, that perception is driven by negative imagery disseminated by the competing campaigns. But on the local level, a good many folks know the candidates personally and know their previous levels of commitment to service in the community. This knowledge helps citizens determine the soundness of a candidate’s character and leadership abilities.

Does a candidate’s comportment in public, in private and online, and track record of personal judgment include dedication to courteous discourse with respect for the community as a whole? What we expect from our leaders, should be kept front and center in the voting booth next Tuesday.

While some folks may vote merely on the basis of established friendships, family ties or previous political affiliations, whoever is elected to serve must be able to put the town’s interests above their own.

If we expect town officials to take their jobs seriously, if we expect neighboring communities and others around the state to take Bar Harbor seriously, then every citizen needs to vote responsibly.

It is vital that all Bar Harbor residents participate by voting on Tuesday, June 14.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.