Unfortunately, Tuesday's election turnout is predicted to be a low one.
That's a shame, for while presidential, congressional and statewide races tend to get all the attention and glamour when it comes to elections, the simple truth of the matter is that local elections - such as those Tuesday - really will have much more impact on your life than the others.
Local millage requests will directly impact your taxes. The politicians elected Tuesday will influence everything from waterfront development to snow removal this winter. The decisions by the people whom residents elect Tuesday will have an immediate impact on your life.
That being the case, it truly is unfortunate more people won't participate in the election process.
Residents of the city of Alpena will particularly have some interesting items to vote on. In addition to selecting a new mayor, voters also will be choosing two councilmen to represent them in the years ahead.
While nothing major, residents also will be asked to approve several changes to the city's charter. The requests are not monumental, or really all that significant in nature, but rather are small items that will modernize and clean up outdated and antiquated provisions of the charter.
City residents also will be asked to approve renewal millage for the popular Dial-A-Ride service. The request is for 0.65 mills for four years. Annually, for a home with a market value of $80,000, the millage amounts to $26 a year.
While Dial-A-Ride isn't public transportation in the sense that we would think of in larger cities, it is an effective and efficient system that provides an essential and affordable service to area residents. Since its inception in 1974, over 2.5 million trips have been made with the service, which averages to over 70,000 trips a year.
Provided the millage request is approved Tuesday, city residents will continue to pay half the normal fees for the service.
I support the renewal because there are too many positives associated with the service not to. It provides an essential link to shopping, medical appointments and social activities for many.
Which brings me right back to my original lament this morning of why more people don't take part in the election process. The request of the Thunder Bay Transportation Authority is a perfect example of something that, regardless of the outcome, will have an immediate impact on you.
Aren't these grassroots elections the issues we should value and care about most?
I think so.
Please, get out and vote Tuesday.