To a large degree this is an unavoidable factor of living in Kittitas County.

First of all, Labor Day happens and we run around yelling, “Ahhh, we have to get through this weekend.” That’s followed immediately by the start of the school year and we run around yelling, ‘Ahhh, we have to get the kids back to school”

Then there’s a pause, before in a couple of weeks we yell “Ahh, Central students are back in town.”

But amidst all this rushing about and preparing for our seasonal changes, something that tends to be a little quieter but perhaps even more important is takes place — people are running for elected office.

After a relatively sparse primary ballot, you may be excused for not knowing there is a slightly more competitive general ballot.

And, whatever you do, do not look beyond this election to the brighter (and louder) lights of the 2020 presidential election. Do not sleep on 2019 because you’d do so at your own peril.

This election is for local offices — city councils, school boards, hospital boards, fire districts and water districts.

Those are not “small” offices, but the fact is they run the risk of being overlooked. That is until something happens like the fiasco in Wapato. Locally, perhaps you didn’t like the city getting scammed out of $185,000 or the Ellensburg School Board buying property for a new school that turns out cannot be used for a new school. On Wednesday night Sunlight Waters residents attended a meeting to voice concerns about their water district.

Well, if you want to be part of these entities, seats become available every four years (sooner if there’s a resignation).

There are not as many contested offices this general election as you’d like to see in a healthy, vibrant democracy, but the ones on the ballot deserve your attention.

Contested races on the ballot are:

n State Legislative District 13 Position 2: Alex Ybarra (Republican) and Steve Verhey (Democrat)

n Kittitas County Commissioner 1: Cory Wright (Republican) and Nancy Lillquist (Democrat)

n Kittitas County Hospital District Commissioner 1: Liahna Armstrong and Terry Clark

n Kittitas County Hospital District Commissioner 2: Jon Ward and Roy Savoian

n Kittitas School Board Position 2: Brian Stickney and Travis Wilson

n Ellensburg City Council 6: Stacey (Bankston) Engel and Matt Anderson

n Ellensburg City Counci 7: Tristen Lamb and Kristin Ashley

n Roslyn City Council 1: Jim G. Guerci and Derek Gruber

n Roslyn City Council 2: Geoff Scherer and Dave Tylor

n Roslyn City Council 4: Jennifer Basterrechea-Atela and Cathy Cook

n Roslyn City Council 6: Tom Missel and Doug Kilgore

n Roslyn Mayor: Brent Hals and Doug Johnson

n Kittitas County Fire District 7 Commissioner 1: Russ Hobbs and Robert Cernick

n Kittitas County Water District 5 Commissioner 3: Terry Guilford and Sonja Busby

n Kittitas County Water District 7 Commissioner 3: Roger Swansen and Mike Budschat

If we had a Heroes of Democracy Award, all this people would receive a medal, or at least a participation ribbon because in this case participation really does matter.

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