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Ideas, tangible plans most important elements in races

Regardless of which political party they belong to, every single candidate seeking local office has one thing in common: They love Danville and Boyle County.

That message is in their ads, on their websites, central in most of the public comments they make and pretty much the foundation of their entire political platforms.

Love for the community and passion is certainly important but many are making a mistake by citing this as one of the top reasons why they should be put into office.

Why? Because it does nothing to differentiate one candidate from another or outline what someone’s specific skill set brings to the table.

And, at the end of the day, love for your hometown or adopted home is simply not enough.

Once you’ve accepted that all the candidates truly do love their community, it becomes much easier to vote for the best candidate rather than the one you know or the most popular.

Voters should support candidates who offer tangible ideas and realistic strategies.

It simply isn’t enough to say, “I love our community” or “I’m going to work to stop the drug problem.“

That is the challenge every community in America faces and every candidate for elected offices for those types of positions says we need to get it fixed.

It’s far more difficult to offer a clear solution.

Those who demonstrate a clear understanding of the role which they are running for and offer detailed analysis of how to do it better than their predecessors are the people who you want to support.

Another consideration is this: Who do you want to be the face and spokesperson for your community?

Make no mistake about it — that is exactly what our elected officials are in some capacity or another.

Again, it shouldn’t be a popularity contest, but it certainly helps if those representing our community come across as professional and knowledgeable about what it takes to grow a community.

Many times when prospective developers look at bringing a business to a community, the first people they meet are our elected officials. So in addition to the specific duties of their office, our officials serve as ambassadors for the community within the state and beyond.

That is when that passion and love for the community comes into play. But knowledge and communication are no less important.

We need all our citizens to arm themselves with information and then go to the polls Tuesday to make an informed decision in order to get the best possible candidates on the November ballot.

This concept is the foundation of our democracy and our future.

Michael Caldwell is interim publisher of The Advocate-Messenger and Danville Living magazine. He can be reached at (859) 469-6400 or by email at mike.caldwell@centralkynews.com.