Vail Daily editorial: Why we’re lucky in local elections
Does an endorsement in the Vail Daily for a candidate make a difference in how people vote?
We doubt it very much. And it’s not the point.
The voters — including the individuals who work at the Daily — make their own decisions based on their own experience, ideology, knowledge and the various other criteria that go into a vote for someone running for public office.
Most indeed will read stories, answers to questionnaires and letters to the editor, along with talking with neighbors, checking party affiliation to a degree, thinking about the candidates, maybe even talking with them. A precious few even will attend candidate forums. Those are worth your time, by the way.
An endorsement editorial is just one more data point of perspective. We joke that this can be a kiss of death every bit as much as a booster. Such is the independence of the readership.
Ask Kevin Foley, the longest-serving Vail Town Council member over the years who termed out a couple of years ago. He is one of the great people and characters in Vail. He lobbied, always with a smile: “Don’t you dare endorse me.”
We’ve picked winners. We’ve missed most of the slate — most markedly in the last Avon Town Council election, although we do stick by our recommendations then. Speaking of that council, we once endorsed gadfly Peter Buckley for his energy and enthusiasm and came to regret that one seeing his antics while serving. We do think that Buckley serves the community better through his voice of near-constant dissent through a somewhat threadbare cloak of anonymity in his weekly blog.
And we’ve recommended the “other candidate” plenty of times while the winner we didn’t endorse went on to serve with distinction.
Truth is that nearly all the candidates for office are earnest and well-meaning citizens with a heart for public service. Few are geniuses, as in life. Almost none are crackpots, though, and so it’s hard to go really wrong.
Some bodies are stronger, more efficient and/or reach the best decisions most consistently than others. That, too, mirrors real life. We, like you, disagree with some decisions and applaud others.
Mostly, though, our elected public servants labor over issues that don’t reach quite to the, let’s say, public’s most rapt attention. The grist for government is only necessary and far from sexy. The public’s interest inflames only occasionally and focuses on that the tip of the work which keeps a town or school district or county afloat.
While the campaign rhetoric will holler otherwise, our elected officials by and large do remarkable work — mostly unpaid — in their service to a public that takes advantage of the luxury to take scant notice of the effort to provide services we’ve all come to take for granted.
We also have the luxury to vote for what we each believe is the better of good choices instead of what we see on larger stages of a politics that frankly we’ve allowed to serve parties more than people.
That’s hardly the case in our community. So while, yes, we may not endorse Kevin Foley when he runs again for office (and he will, we’re certain), we’ll still be delighted if he wins and know we’re in great hands.
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