The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 20, 2013

If you run, show up to serve


Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Becoming an elected officials requires commitment and dedication by anyone brave enough to step forward and put his or her name on a ballot.

A candidate must be willing to put personal concerns aside, whether they be about issues or in the time required to successfully fulfill the obligations of the office, in order to represent constituents’ wishes.

That representation of constituents is important. Without it, the district the elected official represents is rendered mute when it comes to decision that could directly effect them.

That representation of constituents is difficult to maintain when an elected officials cannot attend meetings.

Life circumstances can make it difficult for elected representatives to attend every meeting. Illness, family commitment and unforeseen factors can cause someone to miss an occasional meeting.

When those absences become frequent, however, the elected official must decide whether he or she truly is representing constituents as well as possible.

For the most part, the checks made by Commercial-News’ reporters on the attendance of members of the Danville City Council, Danville Area Community College board and District 118 school board show members who show up much of the time and, for the most part, let others know in advance when they expect to be absent.

In one instance, that of Ward 1 Alderman Kevin Davis, employment obligations have caused him to miss many meetings. He’s promised to make a decision to resign in March if the situation does not improve. We know his constituents will be watching to be sure he keeps that promise.

Being an elected official is not an easy task. It’s good to see that most of the local officials take that obligation seriously and show up to cast their votes.