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The town of Lexington sits nestled in the Willow Creek Valley surrounded by the rolling foothills of the Blue Mountains.

If you live in the Lexington area and want to have a voice in local politics, now is your chance.

The Lexington City Council is accepting letters of interest for the position of mayor and will probably select an individual to fill the slot Nov. 12.

Applicants must be a resident of Lexington for a least one year before they apply. If appointed, they will fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of Marcia Kemp until November 2020.

Lexington is a small town in a rural county, and, at first glance, the open position of mayor may not seem like that big a deal.

That assumption, though, would be wrong. That’s because every elected position in any county inside any state is crucial to the overall health of democracy.

We focus often on how important the health of democracy is. That’s because our nation is in a stage where the very fundamental pillars of democracy are often under attack from one political faction or another. Each political party points the finger and accuses the other of undermining democracy, but make no mistake: there is plenty of blame to go around.

Quite often the sentiment is that democracy in a small town or rural county really isn’t that important. There are few people in Lexington, fewer still in some of the other secluded parts of Eastern Oregon.

Yet, just because a town is small doesn’t mean the principals of democracy are any less important. We believe that democracy is even more important in sparsely populated areas of the nation.

Democracy isn’t perfect and it wasn’t designed to be. Any endeavor that involves humans has a certain element of imperfection built into it.

But democracy as a form of government has several safeguards that allow the public, the average voter, to be able to participate.

Voters — taxpayers — should be involved in their local government. Sure, often the issues government tackles are mundane and time-consuming. But without citizen involvement democracy loses its edge and becomes something else. Taking time out to participate in local government isn’t easy either. It takes time and effort to do the job right, but we believe there are probably several people in Lexington who are willing to step up. We sure hope so. We hope so because to volunteer for an elected position in a small town is a noble decision.

Now, more than ever, we must do all we can to safeguard democracy.

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