“You don’t have to have political experience. You just have to have the will to help your community,” said Gettysburg resident and borough council member Matt Moon as he described his entry into politics last year.
Moon spoke this week at an online, bipartisan, meeting of elected officials and interested citizens sponsored by the local advocacy group Gettysburg Rising.
Meeting attendees emphasized there are plenty of opportunities for people to get their feet wet in public office this year, as all tax collectors, judges of elections, election inspectors, and auditors are up for reelection.
And there are many open seats on borough and school boards across the county.
The complete list of vacancies will be available from the county elections office early in February, and interested candidates can pick up a packet of information to get started.
“People should look at the whole list [of vacancies’]. None of these are glamorous positions, but they’re important positions,” said Gettysburg resident and Adams County Commissioner Mary Qually. “At the local level candidates for most races only need 10 signatures to get on the ballot.”
“I had zero political experience when I ran for the school board,” said Gettysburg Area School District board member Kathleen Pratt. “It’s really easy to do.” Pratt encouraged candidates for school board to cross-file as both Democrats and Republicans and to “get more signatures than you think you need.”
Saying she works at a demanding job at HACC while juggling the demands of a family with children, Pratt said the time commitment of being a school board member was not unreasonable. “It was all manageable. It’s a duty; it’s an obligation,” said Pratt.
Candidates are encouraged to talk with members of their party’s local election committee to assure coordination.
A change this year is that straight party voting is not allowed which will likely shake up party strategies.