As another municipal election is quickly approaching, nomination packages have become available at the Town of Golden office.
Mayor Ron Oszust arrived bright and early on Friday morning to pick up the first package, and encourages everyone who is considering getting involved with local government to pick up theirs.
“I would say, and I’ve said it before, that this local government, it’s not about politics, it’s about community service, it really is,” Oszust said. “Having some ability to influence and be aware of what’s going on in your community, and to play a role in setting direction long term in the community, and short term.”
The packages are available at the town office, and the election will provide people the opportunity to give the consideration to run for council.
September 4 is the first opportunity to turn in the nomination papers, and people will have 10 days past that date to do so. From there, council will be selected by vote.
Being on town council takes commitment, but anyone can do it, Oszust says.
“You’re taking on a very large responsibility, but it is also very gratifying to engage with the community and be able to be involved with setting direction,” he added.
Participating in local government requires people to get involved, attend meetings, read packages, and make decisions based on what will best benefit the community.
“It is our responsibility as elected officials to be informed, to take the information, and make the best decision possible as a collective. It is also our responsibility to be respectful of each other. We may disagree or have different opinions on a subject matter, but we can have that discussion, that debate, and at the end of the day, to do that discussion and debate, in a respectful fashion,” Oszust said. “At the end of the day, we will move forward with the direction of council.”
Many of the council currently have full time employment, run businesses, and live busy lifestyles, but they do make the time to become educated about important issues that affect the community.
“It is about balance in life. One of the biggest challenges I find with local government, is it takes time to get things going,” Oszust said, adding that it can be a while before policies change or projects are decided on. “It takes time to get things going. That can be frustrating. So I find I have to go home and I have to build something, paint something, tear apart something, so you can have that instant gratification of doing a project.”
According to Oszust, what happens at town council takes much longer than people would expect, and elected officials need to be positive about what they’re doing on an ongoing basis to continue the commitment to the community.
“There are many dysfunctional councils. We are so fortunate that we have people that are respectful. They don’t always agree, but they can disagree in a respectful fashion, and we have amazing staff,” Oszust said.
Town of Golden council consists of six council members, and the mayor.
The nomination packages are available to be picked up from the Town of Golden town hall at 810 9th Avenue S. The packages are due to be returned in September, and the election for town council and mayor will begin soon after.