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Stay Focused on Local

Publisher's Note

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Another election season is upon us, and despite what you might conclude from watching TV news, we are not — repeat, not — electing a president next month. Apparently it takes two years to pick a president now. In other national news, Congress is broken. Oopsie!

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National politics are a drag. There are truly profound, scary issues facing us, yet we're only hearing about email servers and hair (be it Trump's or Sanders'). Maybe this is why our craft beer craze has blown up?

For me, the antidote is to focus on state and local politics —where we can still make a difference. You'll be getting your ballot in the mail soon; here's a plea to take it seriously, get informed on the issues and learn about the candidates.

First, a couple of election season "Don'ts." Don't vote based on a letter — you know, that tiny little "D" or "R" you see on campaign signs. Matt Shea's entire political career can be summed up like this: Slap an "R" on it and never talk to the media.

And don't treat your ballot like just another bill; voting has been turned into something like paying Comcast. Remember, it's special: Gather the kids, have a lively discussion and do your sacred American duty.

We've got some important things to decide. We'll be electing Spokane City Council members, a council president and a mayor. Ask yourself: Has it served Spokane to start over completely after every election cycle with a new mayor? One thing that's nice: All Spokane elected offices are nonpartisan — no little "Rs" or "Ds."

How about the Spokane School Board? What a crazy year — walkouts, funding fights, all with our kids caught in the middle. Note that Rocky Treppiedi is running again. If that name sounds familiar, it's because he was fired from his assistant city attorney job after getting lots of people in serious trouble for giving terrible advice during the Otto Zehm episode. That's a big red flag. Maybe an actual teacher should be on the board to round out their perspective? High school teacher Paul Schneider wants to serve.

Adding two more county commissioners? If you think Spokane County is a shining example of modern, efficient government, keeping it at three might be just fine. Hamstringing the state with another tax cap is the latest work of initiative-peddler Tim Eyman — you might want to dig into how he spends all that money he raises to make it harder for us to fix roads and build schools.

To summarize: Don't tune out because our national politics have turned into a drinking game; do get engaged here at home, and vote wisely. ♦