Building a Voter’s Guide

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We thought you might find it helpful to understand the process we undertook to produce the Voter’s Guide. To begin, we drafted questions for the candidates based on information we thought would be helpful for voters to know and then sought input from directors of some of the organizations. We then brought the draft questions to our editorial board for comment. Since two individuals on our board were candidates for office, they recused themselves from this part of the meeting. Final edits were made and all candidates were mailed the questions via USPS and allowed two weeks to respond. The volunteer production staff at the Observer spent numerous additional hours preparing this month’s edition for 40 pages (most issues are 36 pages) in order to fit the Voter’s Guide and ballot in the paper. A source of misunderstanding for many is the instruction to i.e. “vote for any 4.” Please recognize that you can vote for “up to” the number specified.

As we have each served numerous years as members of elected and appointed boards in town, it is our belief and experience that an effective board member should fully understand the issues on which he/she will be voting. Accordingly it is critically important to remain open minded, listen to other members’ opinions, and ask any and all questions you may have.

While we are from different political parties and of sometimes opposing political beliefs, we admire and respect each other’s passion to do a good job. Knowing that we have the common goal of doing what is best for Suffield makes discussions civil and compromises easier. It has allowed us to work together on numerous occasions and accomplish much. It is our hope that all newly elected officials can find the same admirable working relationship.

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