Our View: State lawmakers - Give candidates better break for filingWe ask our legislators to do something about the poor time frame forced on those who wish to become candidates for local office. Candidacy registration, as required by state law, goes from Dec. 1 to the first Tuesday in January. Yet spring elections aren’t until three months later in April.
We ask our legislators to do something about the poor time frame forced on those who wish to become candidates for local office.
Candidacy registration, as required by state law, goes from Dec. 1 to the first Tuesday in January. Yet spring elections aren’t until three months later in April. Primaries, if needed, are scheduled for mid-February. This same time frame has been in effect for many years and we don’t see any magic to the first Tuesday in January deadline.
The December/early January filing period is ill-timed for getting people motivated to seek office as a school board, city council, town or county board candidate.
The reason’s obvious. The big holidays are upon us, and the Thanksgiving holiday is just over. Households are in planning mode – for visits, travel, vacations. Schools and colleges close. People are going places. They’re out shopping.
That frenzied activity from Dec. 1 through right after New Year’s mean politics is not a priority. We’re distracted and busy. We don’t propose a radical change for candidate registration. Ballot preparation for possible February primaries limits what can be changed. But instead of the registration deadline being the first Tuesday of the month (Jan. 3, this year), why not give an extra week or two – make it the second or third Tuesday (Jan. 10 or 17, this year)?
If anything, this would eliminate the flurry of last-minute candidates trying to squeeze in their registration on deadline Tuesday — right after New Year’s.
As the month of January progresses, people are more focused on the routine of being back at work, back at school. They have more time to think about the business of politics. That’s why extending the deadline for registration would be sound public policy.
How about it, lawmakers? Local needs, local concerns and local elections are very important. You can help format a better system for attracting candidates for public office.
Nursing home clarification
In last week’s editorial about the St. Croix County Nursing Home advisory referendum, it was incorrectly stated that April 3 referendum will ask the specific question of whether taxpayers are willing to contribute a specific amount — $333,002 each year.
The referendum would approve $333,002 for current budget, but would not assure that the amount would stay the same in future years. The amount could increase, or decrease, with future budgets.
The editorial questioned the fairness, and wisdom, of the county being in the nursing home business (see attached link).