‘What will the future look like?’

For many reasons, the demonstration of one of the greatest aspects of American culture has been on display lately. From teachers rallying for the retirements they were promised and funding for their classrooms, to students standing up nationwide demanding measures to ensure no more of their classmates succumb to senseless violence, freedom rings loud and clear.

Not everyone agrees on every issue. That’s one aspect of America that makes us great. We were always great… it wasn’t something we lost along the way. Ideologies and theologies certainly challenge how we think about our culture and the people around us, but in the end… we are still a great nation, no matter what.

Freedom to express opinion and to demonstrate go back to the liberties our founders sought when they braved to go against the wave and forge a new nation. When the voice of the people is heard, real change can happen.

Locally, we are no different. In many races this year, we are seeing incumbents face serious challenges just to keep their job. We’re seeing many positions being vacated, and left open for the taking. Candidates from both sides of the aisle are fighting for coveted positions that have the ability to either make or break our local government. Why are they running? Can they answer that question? Have they done enough to keep their job?

When a candidate runs for office, they are applying for a job, employed by the taxpayer. Hopefully, the candidates make contact with the voters and explain why they seek the job, and more importantly, what qualifies them.

Furthermore, if your incumbent candidate seeks to keep their office, it’s no different than submitting an application to keep their job. As the voting taxpayer, have you evaluated their job performance over the last four years? Do they deserve another term? The government is kept in check when the people pay attention to what their elected leaders do. If the job is less than satisfactory, look for the next, more-qualified candidate.

Local government is just as important, and possibility more so in some ways, than our state and federal governments. When you have concerns about something they’re doing, question them! It’s your right. When we have concerns at the newspaper, we know it’s our right and privilege to seek answers.

Our government is only as strong as the voters who stay informed. We strive to do our part in relaying what our elected leaders are doing, and we hope you’re paying attention. There’s a lot of great things about Knox County, but there is room for improvement. What will the future look like? It’ll look like the future you vote for. Whatever that future is, we will be there to keep you informed.