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There when you need them

The Lakeville Journal Editorial

There’s a paradox to civic service: By its very nature, it can be simultaneously rewarding and frustrating. Rewarding, in that one can feel the real possibility of making a difference to the quality of life in one’s own community; frustrating in that barriers to accomplishing goals for the betterment of that same community arise at, it can sometimes seem, every turn.

For those holding and running for Northwest Corner offices now, there have surely already been frustrations and rewards associated with their races. There are some contests that have been more partisan than usual for small-town politics this time around. But events such as the crisis created by a too-early (and too-heavy!) snowstorm last weekend quickly bring perspective to the real work done by town officials, volunteers and employees.

Town selectmen sprang into action, along with their volunteer firefighters, ambulance crews and many others, to organize warming centers, free meals and access to water and other emergency supplies for a population thrown into the dark and cold by the region wide power outage. It’s the action taken by elected officials and community volunteers in such times of emergency that are most appreciated. It’s the thanks given to them at such times, as well, that can make otherwise thankless jobs so much more rewarding.

Take the time to thank them all now if any of their actions made a difference in the way you were able to weather this storm. And remember that they didn’t ask how you were voting before offering a helping hand. Neither will those elected on Nov. 8, proving they are running for office, at the base of it, among any other reasons, because they care about their neighbors.