EDITORIAL: A way to start the new year: Getting involved at the local level

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New year’s resolutions often are about change: giving up an old habit, or starting something new in hopes of making your life better.

As 2018 begins, we think it’s important to focus on what you’re capable of changing, rather than agonizing over things that are beyond your control.

We cannot control what happens in Washington, D.C., or elsewhere across the U.S., but so often, national issues dominate our conversations, news and social media feeds. You may know all about the president’s latest tweets, but what about the decisions facing the Wyoming Legislature? Or Park County Commission or Powell City Council?

These issues certainly are not as controversial or juicy as the latest scandal on the national scene, but by being involved, you could make a difference in a local outcome.

And there’s much to track on the local level, too.

We know that some residents were caught up in the recent Senate race in Alabama while missing the news about Wyoming’s secretary of state facing allegations of sexual assault.

Following local and state issues is important because your voice matters here — and your vote matters.

In 2018, voters in Wyoming will choose our next governor, along with four other statewide elected offices: secretary of state, treasurer, auditor and superintendent of public instruction. We’ll also elect leaders to represent us in Congress and the Wyoming Legislature.

Within the City of Powell, local residents will elect a mayor this year, along with three positions on the City Council. That’s in addition to seats on the boards overseeing Northwest College, the Powell school district, Powell Hospital District and others.

Sure, the election season is months away, but it’s important to pay attention to these local boards and their decisions so you know whether you want to re-elect leaders or choose someone new.

In the coming year, we hope to see more residents become involved in our local community. That may mean attending your first City Council or school board meeting. Or it could be as simple and apolitical as helping a neighbor with a project after work instead of sitting in front of the TV.

By taking an active role in your community, you can actually make a difference in what happens here — and we believe that’s worth your time in the new year.

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