editorial by Jennifer Sierra
2016 is a city council election year in our two cities. I urge the citizens of Bellevue and Dayton, KY to go out and meet your candidates. Get to know them and what they stand for. Find out which of them might have special interests that would prevent them from making unbiased decisions about our towns. Some may be landlords of multiple properties. Check to see what developments are being built and if any candidates own property or run companies that might directly benefit them.
Go to public events. In an election year, candidates that are serious about being part of the community and getting your vote will be at public events around town and you can talk to them in person. You can tell what kind of person you are dealing with by shaking their hand, listening to what they say and seeing how they respond to you. Is the person looking you in the eye? Do they have a firm, but not too firm handshake? Are they looking around the crowd while they are talking to you to see who else is there or are they focused on you? Do they act professionally?
Check their track record. See if what they claim in their ads is true. Did they really spearhead an initiative that helped the city or was the idea created by someone else? Check their Facebook and Twitter feeds. See what they have written on these sites. Are they the type of person that gets on social media and criticizes or is negative? Do they bash other people or are they trying to move the city forward?
Who do they hang out with? Do they socialize with negative people around town or are their friends people that want to move the city forward? You can tell a lot about someone by the company they keep.
What kind of job do they have? Are the employed and if so, who employs them? What kind of experience do they have that will enable them to lead the town in decision making? What kind of house do they live in and what kind of car do they drive? Are they keeping their homes and cars in good condition? If someone has a rusty car and a dilapidated home, how are they going to lead the city. What kind of example will they be? Is it a good idea to vote for someone you know from high school or is it better to vote for someone you believe has the best interest for the community?
Check their voting record? How have they voted on issues and do you agree with that? Do they consistently go to community events and support them or have you just seen them at events since they decided to run for council?
If you hear that a candidate stands for something that you may not agree with, ask them in person. Don’t call, email or message them. Look them in the eye and talk to them about your concerns. If someone is not being forthright, you will know. Listen to your gut.
Social Media can be a great way for people to get to know the candidates and what they stand for. Don’t let your vote be cast by slander on the Internet. KNOW THE FACTS! I can’t say it strongly enough. DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR ON THE INTERNET!