Get out ... and vote!

Posted by John Kanelis on

Candidates Forum

Thursday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m.

Rebroadcasts Sunday, April 5 at 4:30 p.m.


Panhandle PBS general manager Chris Hays is on a mission.

It's getting as many local voters to the polls in May when they will decide who will sit on local governing city councils, commissions and school boards.

Panhandle PBS is trying to do its part in ginning up interest in the May election by conducting a candidate forum, to be aired Thursday at 7 p.m., on the next segment of "Live Here."

Hays makes a point that might seem like a stretch, but it really isn't. It is that people have died to guarantee the right to vote. As the video attached points out, he has to repeat it just to make sure viewers don't think he's kidding. Hays doesn't kid when it comes to voting.

Nor do I. Nor should anyone.

Your vote doesn't count? Why bother? What difference does it make?

Every vote counts. I have lost count of the number of local elections in small communities all across the Panhandle that have been decided by a single vote. What if you and your spouse fail to vote in a single-ballot election and your combined votes would have put the candidate who finished with the smaller total over the top? Yep, these votes count.

The "Live Here" candidate forum will feature 16 individuals who are running for the five seats on the Amarillo City Council. All council members -- and that includes the mayor -- represent the entire city. They all run at-large. This year's ballot is loaded with individuals willing to put their names on the ballot and invest their time in the future of the city.

Why can't more Amarillo voters invest a few minutes of their time in casting ballots to decide who among these individuals should sit on the Amarillo City Council?

Yes, it matters when we select the president, or U.S. senator or U.S. House member. But the folks who sit on local government boards and councils have a direct impact on our lives.

They set policies governing educational curriculum, police and fire protection, sewer and water rates, street repair, animal welfare, garbage pickup, mass transit availability ... you name it, these folks determine it.

"Live Here" seeks to bring these issues to the forefront, as if they needed to be brought forward.

Let's pay attention to what the City Council candidates have to say about how they would govern the city.

If after all you've heard and you still don't bother to vote ...

Well, you've surrendered your right to gripe.

As Chris Hayes notes: You really should vote.

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