Election Day 2011 has gone quietly into the history books locally. Those who wanted to have their say, did, and in some places, decisively so. Elsewhere, the voters’ voices were but a whisper and there were no opposing candidates anyway.
But never mind the off-year low voter turnout. Come January, those who were elected to be our representatives on towns, cities and the county governing boards will wield the power of office just as surely as they would if 100 percent of voters had turned out.
For those who waltzed into office with no opposition, congratulations aren’t quite what’s called for, but surely they, as well as those who won a contested election, deserve our thanks as we acknowledge their willingness to go where so few dare. We hope they will take office with high expectations of serving their communities well and of making a difference — and we hope doubly so that they succeed.
News of late about next year’s Chautauqua County budget describes a hard road that must be traveled. In some respects, it is the same budget news we were reading at this time last year and involves continued wailing from our county executive about the need to have double-digit property tax increases.
Yes, county lawmakers were already in a corner and with their approval of next year’s spending plan, backed into it ever further. But that is not entirely a bad thing if it forces the county, finally, to shed costs that property taxpayers should not be carrying.
But all of that is for another day.
On this pleasant autumn morning, we remind residents their citizens’ responsibility is not over just because Election Day has come and gone. We urge everyone to stay informed about government and to continue to be involved in ensuring government does our bidding and not the other way around.
And once again we congratulate those who were elected and sincerely thank them for their willingness to serve.