Less than 24 hours from now, voters across Gloucester will be casting their ballots to help decide the direction of the city’s future.
There is no specific question on Tuesday’s city election ballot that puts it quite like that, of course. But there are all sorts of choices that voters will be asked to make that, together, will indeed set a course for Gloucester over the next two years and beyond when it comes to schools, economic development, public safety, and other issues.
And if you’re a registered voter living in Gloucester, those choices are squarely up to you — not your neighbors, not your co-workers, not your friends, but you.
We all hear the usual reasons for not bothering to go to the polls tomorrow. Some residents will complain that their vote doesn’t count; others will say it really doesn’t matter who wins.
Baloney — on both counts. Indeed, each and every vote counts in a city or town election moreso than on the state and national level. In those races, candidates can and often are separated by hundreds of thousands — even millions — of votes.
But in local elections — from ward council contests to at-large council and School Committee races to the battle for mayor — the makeup of city government can be swayed by 100 or even a few dozen votes, and can set a course for years to come. In 2011, in fact, Steve LeBlanc captured his Ward 3 City Council seat by 34 votes — and this time, he’s already assured of re-election. He’s unopposed tomorrow.
Yes, everyone has a lot to do these days. But somewhere at the top of tomorrow’s to-do list, each and every registered Gloucester voter should including taking the time to get out to the polls for just a few minutes between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
It’s your right, it’s your duty, and it’s a chance to take an active role in your city’s government — your city’s future. Get out and vote.