KYR's thoughts on how town government affects us and why municipal elections matter
Federal and state elections attract a lot of attention and excitement, but municipal elections often seem to slip below the radar.
Why is this when, in many ways, they have a more immediate and direct impact on us? After all, they determine who will oversee the management and funding of our schools, what our mill rates (property taxes) will be, and how town zoning regulations and exemptions will be applied, among many other important issues.
In other words, town elections have an outsized impact on three major aspects of our lives: our children’s education, our financial health (in the form of taxes and real estate values), and the character and sustainability of our community.
We can’t leave these decisions to chance – or to the few people who make the effort to vote in town elections.
We should all get involved to ensure that we have the best possible people representing us in town government.
Local elections are often decided by just a few votes, so each of us can truly make a difference in how our town is governed. By not voting, we essentially let others decide for us who will represent us and how our town will be run.
In fairness, one of the reasons we have low turnouts in town elections is that it’s hard for many voters to appreciate what all the different elected offices do and even harder to get to know the dozens of candidates running for them. But that’s what this website hopes to address.
By providing a quick primer on town government and making information about every candidate available in one place, we hope that Fairfielders will become better informed and more participative voters.
We are lucky in this town to have hundreds of smart, experienced, thoughtful, caring volunteers serving in elected and appointed positions (see them all at fairfieldct.org/government). Without them we would have no government! We owe it to them to get out and vote and show our appreciation for the work they do. And we owe it to ourselves to make sure that we get the best possible people representing us.