One competitive election after another is a positive | Our Opinion | June 10

With three current City Council members deciding against seeking re-election and a fourth facing stiff competition, it appears there will be another substantial turnover as there was during our last council election two years ago. That one was perhaps more momentous because it became at the heels of voter approval of new form of government. Still, more change is on the way.

Through 3 p.m. Thursday, there were eight announced or filed candidates for the four positions, with at least two candidates in the Central, South and At-Large districts. And it wouldn’t be a surprise if another filing or two occurred before Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

The amount of competition and the quality of the candidates is encouraging, especially when you consider that two of the four positions in 2007 had unopposed candidates (Hilary Franz and Barry Peters) who were running for the first time. In 2009, all three of the council positions had three candidates, which gave us competitive races in the primary and general elections.

As a result, the issues were throughly discussed and voters, if they were paying attention, could carefully weigh each candidate’s beliefs and awareness of the youthful city’s problems and needs going forward. And then match them with their own.

The island has a special set of problems right now, many of which revolve around its ability to actually afford the distinct “way of life” its citizens have chosen. The real estate boon has bust, for example, which will require residents to at least reassess the rural suburbia that drew so many urbanites here during the last two decades. What is the island’s future?

Electing people who are looking ahead while still keeping an eye on what’s valuable and important to islanders is crucial during a time of  financial crisis. A healthy future depends on our choices and, considering the apparent commitments of our latest candidates, it appears there is much good from which to choose. It bodes well for a promising future for the island.

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