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Saturday, September 24, 2022

The Local Pulse – April flowers and campaign signs

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As predictable as the sprouting of spring daffodils, crocus and hyacinth, not-as-pretty campaign yard signs are popping up all over the place. It’s a signal that winter is ending and spring is upon us. So are local elections.

These local elections are incredibly important because your local officials who serve the city, schools and townships are responsible for policies that most directly affect our daily lives. It’s no secret that property taxes channeled to schools represent the largest chunk of everyone’s tax bill, and those who represent us at the city and township level determine the quality and cost of services we value and rely upon to be safe and healthy, and ensure reliable access to basic utilities like water, sewer, and electricity.

Every election cycle we see a few candidates who either slept through Campaign Sign 101 class, or worse, know the rules but choose deliberately to ignore them. Yes, there are actually rules for where you can place campaign signs and how large they can be. There are also rules for common decency. We should all pay close attention to the campaign sign game, because a candidate’s sign game is a reflection of what kind of leader they will be.

Are candidates ethical rule followers? Or are they shady characters who sidestep regulations hoping not to get caught. Do they only place signs on private properties after receiving permission from home, business or vacant property owners? Or do they litter the public right-of-way with signs and throw up signs wherever they feel like it. Please take notice of campaign sign practices, because if a candidate demonstrates a lack of honesty and ethics during the campaign, that is a sure sign of what’s to come. Ethics matter always.

Election Day is on April 6 and Early Voting is already underway. It’s really too bad that these spring elections tend to have low voter turnout, because as I said, these are the folks who make decisions that have the greatest impact on our daily lives. Early and mail-in balloting is easy and convenient, so there is no excuse not to vote.

And if you are one of those people who enjoys exercising your right to vote on Election Day, that’s great, too. Thank your election workers while you’re there.

Whether you vote early, on the big day or if you’re already looking ahead to the schedule of the 2022 General Election, just make sure you vote. A lot is at stake every Election Day, so please do your homework, know your candidates, and make sure you cast a ballot.

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Grant Wehrli
Grant Wehrli
Grant Wehrli is a lifelong Naperville Resident and former Representative in the Illinois House of Representatives and Naperville City Councilman.

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