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Policies our readers should know about

 


Readers should be aware of a couple of policies The Star will follow this year and into the future.

First, regarding elections: The Star will accept one letter from each of the candidates in local elections this year as a means of introducing their general ideas to the voters.

And we have begun the process of seeking interviews with each of those candidates in contested elections to further our readers’ understanding of the issues and of the candidates themselves.

Readers, of course, are encouraged to share their thoughts on the process, the candidates and their ideas in the spirit of good debate and civil discourse.

Another changing policy will deal with our Volunteer of the Year award.

Last winter only two nominations came in, both very good, but leaving us feeling as though people hadn’t had time to put together a recommendation.

So we waited and delayed. Now it’s summer and it seems time to rethink the whole process.

Your thoughts are welcomed on the topic. Here are ours.

Originally, the volunteer of the year was chosen in secret by a committee of folks who represented various facets of the community — churches, schools, employers and others. Several years ago, the technology to allow everyone a chance to contribute became readily available. So we opened that gate, allowing anyone to choose in an online poll, or with a written note on paper, from among all those nominated after The Star published the nominating letters.

Opening the process up for all to participate seemed like an ideal way to democratize the process and involve as many as wanted to be involved.

But bypassing the committee process may have led to less participation, not more. Committee members throughout a community can act as catalysts of discussion; people discuss whom they would like to see honored.

So at the moment, we’re thinking that the 2017 volunteer of the year will again be selected by committee. If you would like to serve on it, let us know.

In the meantime, next week we’ll finish what we started and publish the nominating letters we received. Then we’ll put up the online poll and finish the 2016 volunteer of the year process the way we started it.

Scott Hunter

editor and publisher

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