Many people in this county consider themselves informed citizens when it comes to keeping up with our nation’s current events. This county’s citizens have kept up to date on the 2020 Election trail, President Trump’s recent state visit to the United Kingdom, or every new law being passed in Congress. Despite them knowing the facts on each of these events, they still miss very important matters that are directly affecting them: local politics.

You may think that this county is far too small to have any sort of politics, but the complete opposite is true. City and county officials are constantly debating new policy changes and making decisions that will influence the constituents they represent. The matters that constantly go on inside our county and city buildings can influence in more ways than the average may choose to believe. These matters are extremely important to the average person and affect nearly every aspect of our lives. Ultimately, it is a person’s right to choose what they want to read or listen to, but it is crucial that they pay attention to all spectrums of the world’s events.

Something that many people do not realize is just how massively decisions made by local officials can affect them. This unawareness leads people to ignore the news that comes out of our county leaders and their actions. In reality, local policies can affect a wide range of aspects in our lives, including your bills, the education of your children, and the infrastructure of our county. This can be seen firsthand in the public meetings our local officials have, such as the County Commission meetings held the first and third Tuesday of each month.

This past meeting, many crucial issues were addressed and valuable information was presented to the board. One important issue discussed in the last meeting was the agreement to assist in funding the pipes to relieve flooding in Placid Lakes Boulevard. This piece of information is extremely important to those who live there as they are looking to a solution to this problem. Local issues like these are regularly being solved in our public offices and affect the lives of many people, making them extremely important to follow.

The uninformed portion of our society can lead to uninformed decisions, especially when it comes to the poll booths. The votes are full of all types of candidates, from those running for sheriff to those running for president. Not just elections, also many amendments are voted on that can play easily affect the average person.

The uninformed voter will often vote for president and other federal elections, then neglect the local and state elections that play a large role in their lives. This type of blind voting can help an unqualified candidate win public office or help pass a faulty amendment. The average person has to be informed over all levels of government, from their neighbor running for member of the school board to the candidates for the president. This type of thinking will ensure the right people are elected and the right amendments are passed. Because just like Thomas Jefferson said, “An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will.”

Miguel Arceo is a student athlete at Sebring High School.

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