The fall ballot is sparse, but does provide some choices

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The good news is local voters will have some choices to make.

All three of the Walla Walla City Council positions on the November ballot drew at least two candidates. And one of the three Walla Walla School Board positions will be contested.

While a few other races have at least two candidates, most have only one candidate A few have zero, which is why a special three-day filing period was needed. The filing for those posts, mostly positions in Prescott and Waitsburg, ends at 4 p.m. today.

Still, let’s take the positive view of the November election.

The three Walla Walla City Council contests should provide a real opportunity for the candidates — including two incumbents — to debate the issues and find out what is important to citizens. The more involvement and communication between candidates and the public, the better government works.

The City Council races pit incumbent Jim Barrow against Paul Mobley for the Position 1 seat while incumbent Conrad Cavazos Jr. faces Allen Pomraning for the Position 3 seat. The race for Position 2 will have two newcomers as Richard Morgan and Robert Smith seek the post being vacated by Shane Laib, who opted not to seek re-election.

The Walla Walla School Board has only one contest, which will begin with a primary Aug. 6 to select the top two candidates for the November ballot. Sam Wells, Joshua Gonzales and Brent Barberich will run against each other to fill the seat of Dan Hess. Perhaps there was so much interest in this seat because Hess purposely made an early announcement he was not seeking re-election.

He wanted to give people the time necessary to decide whether to run and time for the word to spread the position was open.

In College Place, Mayor Rick Newby is being challenged by Lonnie Croft. Julie Scott and Wesley Bernal will seek City Council Position 1, which was vacated by Steve Dickerson.

It is unfortunate more races won’t be on the ballot. Yet, having some — particularly for local positions — is clearly a positive.

And keep in mind that candidates need voters to support them. Citizens need to get involved by doing some research on the issues and the candidate’s stands on their concerns. Attend public forums and ask questions.

Mostly importantly, engage in the process — and vote.

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