An election year is here

The tree is gone, the champagne has gone flat and here we are rushing headlong into 2008. Now that the holiday clutter has been cleared, a clean slate lies before us ready to carry the history of what we as a community, state and nation do this election year.

Are you ready for some voting? In the months to come, The Garden Island plans to bring the community extended election coverage. Beyond the daily stories that may appear on the front page regularly, the “Your Government” page, which runs every Sunday on page A3, will become “The Stump 2008,” beginning this weekend.

The Stump 2008 will be the forum for election coverage at the local, state and national levels.

We hope to take you deeper than the issues, to look at the people behind the names who may or may not be elected to steer our futures in the political arena.

We hope to offer insights into what makes our public officials tick. They are, after all, public officials, the ones who make decisions about vacation rentals, open government, property taxes and the county budget. We’ll look at the hopefuls as they file to run for the open seats this election. We’ll look at the history and reasons why public officials may behave the way they do.

We hope to glean where they plan to take our community as well.

Who will the candidates be? Mayor Bryan Baptiste still has more than two years in his current term, but the County Council seats are up for grabs. We’ll also look more closely at the Charter Review Commission and its role in the upcoming election. It will be interesting to see how the commission succeeds through what they get on the ballot.

We’ll of course follow the developments in the various state races and offer our take on the presidential race.

There has been no lack of community-defining issues shaping the island since the last election, with 2007 being the most contentious: traffic, development, crime, taxes, big boxes, Superferry …

Is the island ready for change? Or are we content with the direction we are heading? The months ahead will tell.

Check out The Stump 2008 this Sunday and every Sunday thereafter through Nov. 4.


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