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Editorial: Vote Saturday – IT is important

L’Observateur / April 29, 1998

Elections are set Saturday in each of the River Parishes, again prompting the call for responsible participation in the electoral process. It’s amessage which can never be said enough, as registered voters often fail to vote.

In St. Charles Parish, three issues face voters parishwide. One is forrenewal of the present 1.97-mill property tax to support recreation. Oneis for renewal of the present .98-mill property tax to support the seniorcitizen program. The third is a new 1-mill tax for recreation.In the third issue, which has drawn opposition from local business groups, the parish would not levy more than 1.13 mills of the 2.13 millsauthorized for mosquito control in any year the 1 mill recreation tax would be levied.

In St. James Parish, two issues face voter consideration. In PropositionOne, a 5-mill property tax is up for renewal for maintaining parish roads.

In Proposition Two, a 5-mill property tax is up for renewal for maintaining parish buildings.

In St. John the Baptist Parish’s District 6, George Allen and Dorrel J.Triche Jr. face a runoff election for Justice of the Peace.In the case of St. Charles Parish, each of the 10-year tax issues areimportant, recreation to citizens parishwide, especially the children, and to senior citizens for the Council on Aging issues. Careful considerationshould be given all matters, judging not only the value of the programs but also how well they are operated.

These are quality of life issues and reflect how voters value these programs.

In the case of St. James Parish, each of the 10-year tax issues areimportant, as roads and public buildings affect every citizen in the parish.

In the case of St. John Parish, every office-holder election is important,as each has its function and purpose in how smoothly government works.

This is an election for an unexpired term due to an untimely death.

Some people may not register to vote, hoping to avoid serving on juries.

That no longer is a good way, as jury pools are sometimes selected from driver’s license lists. Some people may not vote, being unfamiliar with theissues. It is incumbent upon them to become familiar with the issues, partof being a good citizen.

Unfortunately, some people do not vote because they feel their vote is unimportant. That is totally untrue. Every vote is important. No one canaccurately and consistently predict how voter turnout will be so any voter can turn the tide in any election.

Some people refuse to vote because they would prefer all elections to be held over and lumped into one election date per year. Besides thepossibility of presenting an overwhelmingly lengthy ballot, issues could be postponed unnecessarily and to the detriment of parish residents.

As in every election, we urge voter participation, making themselves aware of the issues involved and providing a good example to their neighbors and to their children, validating the process of the American system of government.

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