While compiling profiles in election years, it’s always interesting to see what sorts of citizen-centric goals are a part of candidates’ campaign platforms. These are the type of projects or protocols that can benefit all residents in their daily lives and make the region more attractive to newcomers.

This election cycle, candidates talked about the importance of parks and recreation opportunities; alternate or extended municipal office hours; the integration of technology to make government systems more accessible; improved utility services and the expansion of access to others like natural gas, cable TV and more.

Of course, not all of these ideas are immediately feasible and an elected official is typically just one member who needs the support of fellow board members to accomplish much of anything but this type of service-centric discussion is refreshing when so much of a county or township official’s time is spent crunching numbers or trying to problem solve current issues. With budget cuts on the horizon, municipal leaders will have fewer dollars to work with on just about everything but some of these ideas just require more persistence and pavement pounding than funding, at least at the beginning so there’s ample opportunity to at least explore the options.

As observers, it’s refreshing to see residents with a vision of the future for the place they call home. Whether those candidates won or lost, we hope they’ll consider pursuing improvements on behalf of their neighbors and we trust that those already in office will be open to new ideas for the betterment of their communities.