And so tomorrow is the day. Election Day, 2019 will be the day that decides who will be assuming the open borough council and school board of director positions. The candidates have been campaigning for nearly a year. Many been updating citizens via door-to-door visits; a few “town-hall” like sessions and via their separate facebook pages.
Being a borough councillor is not an easy position. As an elected public servant, councillors will always be held to citizen standards that are changing and sometimes, not fully understanding. The same is true for a school board of director. This narrative at the Derry Township School District spells out a fitting description of a director:
“Directors act as the general agent for the people of the district in the manner of public education. They are charged with being constantly aware of the concerns and desires of the whole community regarding the quality and performance of the school system.
“The Board establishes educational goals for district students and governs a program of education designed to meet those goals. The Board is committed to educating all students to the best of their individual abilities. Moreover, the Board assumes an educational leadership role and employs the Superintendent. Additionally, the Board adopts courses of study and textbooks; employs all staff members; and fixes and prescribes their duties, wages and salaries, and terms of employment.”
Columbia Borough School District’s Board’s authority and powers are posted at the District’s Webpage. The Pennsylvania School Board Association has an excellent Webpage that offers a quite thorough description, too.
Citizens deserve transparency in governmental actions and consistency in application of ordinances. These are implied Constitutional rights in a free society, we maintain. Hidden, obfuscated and rehearsed agendas destroy citizen confidence and trust in governance.
Citizens deserve timely factual communication. Given the speed of information transfer platforms in 2019, rumors and inaccurate information spreads quickly. The imperative for any governing body, especially at the local level, is to truthfully, accurately and in a timely manner release authoritative information to its citizens and media resources.
So it’s important to vote tomorrow! Today, the editorial in LNP – Always Lancaster, “Don’t sit out any election,” is all about the low turnout for off-year elections. Generally, there’s a lower voter turnout.
But these local elections are the most important ones; these elections most affect you. The people you elect for borough councillor and school board of director position are the ones who will grapple with the affordability and management of local services budgets. These are the people who will have to make the hard decisions.
- Do taxes have to be raised? By how much?
- Do we have to cut or add services? Can we afford to do this?
- What do we have to consider to manage people (our internal Customers) resources and money?
- Are the people we hire performing to our standards?
- What do our constituents (our external Customers) want? Can we satisfy their demands?
- What can we do to transform our community / school district into models that will encourage others to want to come to Columbia to thrive and excel?
- What can we equitably and fairly afford to offer and provide to attract businesses, investors and people to retain or attract them to Columbia?
- How can we be better listeners our Customers? How can we be better communicators?
Tomorrow — you help control your destiny in Columbia. Vote.