Last updated on February 2, 2020
This article has been edited. It incorrectly stated “Zero seats are contested on the Town of Lodi Board of Supervisors”. It should read “Zero seats are contested on the Town of West Point Board of Supervisors.
This article contains editorial content and/or opinion
Sorry, baseball, but America’s Passtime is arguing politics and complaining about the government. Around here, that usually happens at the end of the bar with the help of friendly beverage. If you think about it, that’s how our country was founded–with one additional step…
They Stepped Up
In the case of the Founding Fathers–and everyone who stood with them–the only choice was the extreme: revolution. The result of their fight–and their sacrifice–was the creation of a system where any citizen1In Wisconsin, any person who has been convicted of a felony, or a “misdemeanor involving a violation of public trust” is barred from running for office. That’s a subject for an entirely different op-ed. can step up and change the government–by becoming a part of it.
This year 18 Lodi Valley citizens are stepping up and taking responsibility for what “the government” does–by campaigning to be a part of it. No matter what you may think about their politics, they deserve a degree of our respect for stepping away from the end of the bar and stepping up into the spotlight2To answer the question: Yes. I have stepped up. Many years ago, I ran for a seat on the School Board. The incumbent that most candidates were hoping to unseat remained on the board. I was soundly trounced by another candidate for the other seat, and I’m glad he won. He was a much better fit for the position.
A Choice of One or Zero
A quick math quiz: If there are 13 seats up for reelection and there are 18 candidates, how many seats are uncontested?
The answer is seven.
- Zero seats are contested on the City of Lodi Common Council
- Zero seats are contested on the Town of West Point Board of Supervisors
- Zero seats are contested on the Village of Dane Board of Trustees
And it gets more complicated. In both the City of Lodi and the Village of Dane, incumbents who are not up for reelection are challenging an incumbent for higher office (Mayor & Board President). In both races, if a challenger wins this will result in an empty seat.
We are facing the possibility that there will be three empty seats after the election. Those positions will be appointed.
They’re Stepping Down
As 18 are stepping up, four are stepping down. Page Heckle (City of Lodi Common Council), Jon Plumer (Town of Lodi Board of Supervisors), Matt Zeman (Town of West Point Board of Supervisors), and Susan Miller (School District of Lodi Board of Education) have chosen to step down. Zeman was nominated for re-election in the Town of West Point caucus, but declined.
Whether you agree or disagree–love, hate, or couldn’t care less about–with what these people have done while in office, they should have your respect for stepping up and taking on the burden.
Will You Step Up?
No seat in government should go uncontested. No seat should be left empty. Every ballot is open to write-in candidates. And, starting Monday, the Chronicle will give anyone seeking a write-in campaign the same resources offered to a registered candidate. The only difference is that you’ll be identified as a “write-in candidate”.
Are you going to sit at the end of the bar and bitch about the government? Or are you going to step up and do something?
A Lodi native, Blaze attended the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay where he graduated with a degree in theatre technology & design. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world–including a 6-year stint in China. He has been a teacher, a writer, a designer, and is the founder of the Redleaf Consulting Group.
|↑1||In Wisconsin, any person who has been convicted of a felony, or a “misdemeanor involving a violation of public trust” is barred from running for office. That’s a subject for an entirely different op-ed.|
|↑2||To answer the question: Yes. I have stepped up. Many years ago, I ran for a seat on the School Board. The incumbent that most candidates were hoping to unseat remained on the board. I was soundly trounced by another candidate for the other seat, and I’m glad he won. He was a much better fit for the position|