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— Less than 10 percent of the registered voters cast their votes in the school election earlier this month.

The percentages were even less in some of the larger cities around us. That's really sad.

The Pea Ridge School operates a $6 million budget garnered from the taxes you and I pay. Whether you have children in the school or not, the state of the schools is important to each and every one of us.

There were people who said they didn't have children or grandchildren in the school so they didn't need to vote.

The schools operate on your money.

As we look through old issues of this newspaper, now in its 44th year, we see the faces of the business leaders of this community in the graduates and the school children of yesterday.

The children in theseschools will be the citizens of this town tomorrow (or in the next decade).

Although some may move off, some will stay. These young people being molded, shaped and educated by the teachers and staff in the Pea Ridge schools will be the grocery store clerks, the business owners, the bankers, the city officials, the police and fire fighters who will operate this town.

There are many countries in which the citizens have no vote. What a disgrace if we don't take full advantage of the privileges afforded us!

There are two people willing to spend their time and money seeking election. The least we can dois spend the few minutes it takes to cast our vote.

And for those of you who refuse to vote, please don't sit around the coffee shop complaining when you don't like the decisions made. You have no right to complain when you don't take the time to help elect the people to represent you.

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There are still two vacant seats on the Parks Commission and one on the Planning Commission. The mayor has issued appeals for any interested persons to speak up to serve. There are exciting times ahead as our city continues to face the challenges brought on both by growth and the economic slowdown. Both groups typically meet once a month. Call City Hall if interested in serving.

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Recently, I've heard a couple of newcomers totown praising our commu nity and citizens. What a blessing that is. These peo ple specifically moved here because of the small-town atmosphere and they've been welcomed by friendly people. They bragged on people from the schools, the city, the businesses and the emergency services departments.

We're not a utopia by means. We have our share of problems and grumblers, but we're a wonderful community and it seems people will usually find what they're looking for. If they are happy, grate ful people, they seem to at tract others like them.

All in all, Pea Ridge is a nice place to visit and a wonderful place to live. If we'll all work together, we can keep it that way.

Find your niche - there are churches and civic organizations as well as various volunteer groups - and lend a hand.

Opinion, Pages 4 on 09/30/2009

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