Perhaps the best way to get people to be active participants in local government is to consolidate the number of public votes being held.
Three votes for the school district isn’t an ideal situation (the second capital project vote is only happening because the first failed), but even with an operating budget and a school board election going on, that referendum could have appeared on the May ballot too. And while capital project votes aren’t an annual thing, there will likely be another one next year.
Elections in March have been a long tradition for many villages in Onondaga County, but this year the board of elections suggested that these be moved to November to save money. To its credit, the village of Skaneateles recently changed its term lengths, making elections only necessary every other year. While this does save money, it doesn’t change the fact that by holding these elections on their own, village residents are being asked to be informed and ready to vote on local issues at least three times a year.
Having an informed and enthusiastic population of voters is important for democracy, and in order to do that the right way, maybe less is more.