Most websites are up, most kickoffs held. Coffees, debates and meet-and-greets are in the planning stages. Yard signs will be up before the daffodils.
The contested races are for Township Supervisor, First Ward alderman, Sixth Ward alderman and the School District 202 (Evanston Township High School) Board. Only four candidates filed for the four positions on the School District 65 board, and the time has passed for write-in candidates to file.
The fact that eight candidates filed for the four positions open on the District 202 Board indicates the importance of the high school in the community.
We hope that candidate debates will be robust and issue-oriented. We also hope that those who schedule them will be sensitive to the need of the public to be educated on the issues and to the time constraints of those who are willing to be public servants. In the last mayoral election, for example, the public and the candidates were saturated with debates, few of which produced anything new about the candidates. Groups, it seems, sponsored debates as a means of summoning candidates rather than educating the public. Perhaps this time around, groups can co-sponsor debates rather than scheduling their own.
Meanwhile, voters will have the opportunity to meet the candidates, hear why they are running and what they hope to accomplish, visit their websites and read their literature. Early voting begins in just a few weeks.