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The Scoop - Run for office; make an impact
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There's an old one-liner that says: "Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed regularly and for the same reasons."

Folks looking for change in government won't have to look any further than McMinnville's Board of Mayor and Aldermen. The seats of three aldermen and the mayor will be on the ballot in November and voters won't have to storm the ballot box to enact change.

Mayor Ben Newman has declared he won't seek re-election and two of the three aldermen, Mike Neal and Kate Alsbrook, have confirmed to the Standard they will not be running either.

Alderman Rachel Kirby is the only current member of McMinnville's city board up for election who says she plans to seek her seat again.

I consider this massive turnover to be a major development because holding a seat on McMinnville's city board is often overlooked in its importance. It's not like the Warren County Commission, which is also of vital importance, but is flooded with 24 members.

With McMinnville's city board, just seven people decide where some $33 million in city tax dollars are spent. This includes money for the Police Department, Parks and Recreation, Fire Department, Park Theater, and much more.

The $10 million Civic Center renovation and expansion project was OK'd by this current city board. It's a project that didn't have my full support because I thought it was far too expensive and I thought it should have included, at the very least, an indoor pool if we're shelling out $10 million.

Actually, it will be a $14 million project by the time the 20-year loan is paid after interest is calculated. So yes, it is a pretty sizable project and one I hope doesn't hinder the city financially for years to come because it consumes all of our available resources.

But, by and large, I think our current city board has done a noteworthy job of running our city and pointing us in the right direction.

When it comes to politics, I always say I'm not going to agree with every decision that's made. Even if my mother was mayor, I wouldn't agree with every decision. The important thing is to elect people with integrity who are willing to work toward the best interest of our community and that describes this current board, in my estimation.

That being said, we need some quality people to seek election in November. Qualifying began Monday and will continue until Aug. 20 at noon for municipal elections in McMinnville, Morrison, Centertown and Viola.

A great way to make a difference is by holding public office. If we're only as good as our community leaders, then we need good leaders to step to the plate.

Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.