In the chill of late January, the warmth of May seems quite distant. Yet the clock is ticking, and reminders that local municipal and school district elections are just around the corner. In less than two weeks, candidates may file application for a place on the ballots in these elections scheduled for May 12.

Officially, according to the Texas Secretary of Stateís office, the first day to file is Feb. 10. But offices are not required to open on that day, so the first day is effectively the following Monday.

Itís not too soon for potential candidates to consider whether they will seek a place on ballots for the school district or municipal boards that represent the jurisdiction in which they live.

Service on these city councils and boards is important to the operations of local government. Despite the rules, regulations and other limits placed on them by federal and state laws, local government remains the most responsive form of government citizens have. These representatives live in the same communities. They convene in nearby locations, making it easy for citizens to observe and provide input. The decisions are seldom simple or easy, but they must be made if the most basic services ó water, sewer, police and fire protection and public education ó are to be maintained.

The filing period runs into March. But as February arrives, itís time for those who have been considering offering themselves for service to their community to begin thinking seriously about it.

Brownwood Bulletin