Tuesday marks a classic "off year" election. There's no presidency at stake. There's no governor's chair at stake. Voters aren't being asked to decide who they wish to be their next state representative or senator, U.S. congressman or senator.
But if it's true that the closest connection between citizens and elected officials is the one that is most local, then Tuesday is important in municipalities and school districts in our region.
There are township supervisors, borough councilmen and school board members being elected Tuesday. Neighbors are voting on neighbors, asking them to represent them in decided future issues in their townships, boroughs and school districts.
In most of these municipalities and school districts, the pressure to make sound local decisions has never been greater. Taxpayers are stretched to the bone and can't afford expensive mistakes. Outside funding sources will likely become more elusive in future years, so there is a premium on sound decision making at the local level.
Voters will be deciding Tuesday who they think is most qualified to make those key decisions.
Looking beyond this election, we would much prefer that more of Tuesday's races were contested. It is sobering to see how difficult it is getting to fill local slates. There are reasons too numerous to fit in this space for the problem, but suffice it to say that future, positive leadership must be nurtured and encouraged in many of the region's communities.
Otherwise, the future will become even more daunting than it often looks on a local governmental level.
-The Williamsport Sun-Gazette