by Paul J. Sniadecki

President, Eagle Lake Improvement Association, Inc.

 As this e-newsletter is being distributed, the 2012 Primary Election is wrapping up. The last and crucial step ahead is the General Election which is only 3 months away. So, now is the time to assess if you have made any progress at the local municipality level (township, county, city, or village) to elect riparian-minded candidates to protect local lakes and streams. We will do this by answering some questions with simple YES/NO answers (when doing any assessment, you either reached the benchmark, or you didn’t…. “close” only counts in a game of horseshoes).

Here are the assessment questions, based on suggested actions in previous articles:

1)    Did you identify any riparian-minded, potential candidates in your area, YES or NO? ___

2)    Did you assist any potential candidates to “file” for the Primary Election, YES or NO? ___

3)    Did you assist any potential candidates to “file” as independent candidates for the General Election, YES or NO? __

4)    Did you review your local municipalities’ “track record” for gaps in governance, fiscal management, transparency, and/or riparian-friendly initiatives, YES or NO? ___

5)    Did you survey your Lake Association or neighborhood’s concerns to develop “real data” to share with elected office candidates, YES or NO? __

6)    Did you raise awareness of local issues by writing OP-ED articles, posting data on websites, or organizing a Town Hall type meeting, YES or NO? ___

7)    Did you selectively vote in the 2012 Primary Election, for candidates you knew (based on the record) would represent your riparian interests, YES or NO? __

8)    For elected positions on the ballot which provided the option to “Vote for 2, 3, or More”, did you withhold voting for the permitted maximum, to avoid supporting an adverse candidate, YES or NO? __

 Now, let’s determine how successful you were.  If you were able to record 6-8 YES answers, you are proactive and organized. There is a strong chance of effecting real change, at the local level, to protect your lake(s) or stream. If you scored 3-5 YES answers, you have made some progress, but more effort needs to be done in making the electoral process work to protect your riparian interests. If you recorded 2 or less YES answers, you have missed a great opportunity to effect real change. You will most likely suffer “more of the same” if your current elected officials do not account for riparian interests as they conduct their governmental activities. It takes planning and effort to elect the right kind of candidates.

 Next month’s article will deal with the final steps that can help secure the “win” for riparian minded candidates who made it through the primary process, or who will appear as Independents on the General Election ballot. In the interim, we need to work at voter registration, getting out the vote, and voting…even via absentee ballot. Waiting until the end of October will be too late. The General Election is only 3 months away!

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