Carrying out the duties of public office can be a thankless job. The sacrifice of time lost with family and the disruptive scrutiny of representing your community whether you’re in agreement with constituents or not – all our lower valley elected officials should be thanked for their willingness to serve their respective communities.

2019 Washington State Primary Election Day is Tuesday, Aug. 6 and voters will be turning in their ballots and taking part in our democratic process, if they haven’t already done so by now. Whether you’re an established incumbent or an up and coming candidate – there’s a place and time for everyone to participate.

It’s our American duty. U.S. military men and women stationed abroad are prepared to ensure these liberties are defended. We must exercise our Constitutional rights in which so many generations of veterans have sacrificed and continue to do so, for our freedom of independence – to make a choice and influence change.

Residents who run for the position to represent their community do so with an obligation to serve which may not always be the popular vote. Standing strong in the face of adversity and taking a leadership position when local issues are fiercely difficult and contested is never easy. Everyone has an opportunity to test their mettle and serve – that’s what makes America great.

No one is right all the time, however, staying true to what you believe in and the responsibility of placing those you serve above all else, is what makes a real leader. And, it’s those leadership qualities which inspires others to carry forward in making a positive influence in their community and beyond.

When you’re face to face your constituents and looking at them squarely in the eye, explaining why you voted a certain way, there’s a public accountability which comes with the elected role. Those hometown decisions have significant effect in people’s daily lives. There’s a real consequence to the vote cast and how it affects your neighbors and their families.

Elected officials are entrusted with a responsibility that is not just a general job description to be taken lightly, but one of major significance. The appointment is a full-time role and it’s tough to make decisions which reflect the best interests of an entire community – it’s not always about listening to the loudest contingency of voices, sometimes, you may have to seek out and hear from those with strong opinions who may express themselves in a quieter manner.

We appreciate your public service and the time you’ve given freely on our behalf - thank you for your commitment to community and in demonstrating the importance of making a better tomorrow for all.

Patrick Shelby for the Sunnyside Sun editorial board.

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