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Area municipal elections now are held with the state and national election cycle, and that means our nation’s birthday falls within primary time. That provides an opportunity to look at the true legacy of democracy that we have at a local level.

In Casa Grande this time around, there is no contest for mayor and three City Council seats. Mayor Craig McFarland and council members Lisa Navarro Fitzgibbons and Donna McBride are unopposed. Educator Jeff Lavender is running while Mary Kortsen plans to step down after years of dedicated service on the council.

Meanwhile, other area communities have some contests as citizens come forward and seek to serve and lead with relatively little compensation. A lack of competition for some seats, or a friendly rivalry for others, may be seen as a sign that people are mostly, but not totally, satisfied with their local government, and there is no need for the toxic politics seen nationally.

In some other places as America celebrates its 244th birthday, cities are a combat zone. Actions of some rogue police officers have resulted in a massive reaction, and some of it is intent on destroying this nation instead of improving it. Meanwhile, local leaders in some cities have overreacted by seeking to “defund” police. Our greatest city, New York, already is seeing a crime wave after the city foolishly reduced its law enforcement presence. Police officers in some places, seeing they lack support, are reluctant to intervene where they formerly would. In some cases they are being told not to enforce laws. Residents of those cities are being victimized by criminals, and many people and employers already are going elsewhere.

This is all very sad. The obvious bottom line is not that America is overall a racist nation but that some bad local governments did not remove a relatively small number of officers who should have been fired, and now the answer has been to blame and hamper law enforcement.

This is a time not only to appreciate good first responders but also elected leaders who have stepped forward to serve cities and school districts. They are providing policy guidance while supporting competent, dedicated people who receive a paycheck from the taxpayers. Those elected officials deserve our thanks also.

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