(The following is a comment by decorahnews.com's Paul Scott):
The Candidates Forum Thursday night at Luther College was attended by more than 100 people who came to listen to seven candidates for City of Decorah offices.
There was a clear winner at the forum--civic involvement. OK, I know that isn't what you wanted to hear, but I wanted to point out how blessed Decorah is with the level of involvement of people in this community. This is so despite the fact that Decorah City Council members get paid a pitiful amount for their meeting attendance--and Park-Rec Board members get paid nothing at all.
Other communities have struggled to find people willing to tackle all the work and the occasional abuse that come with being on a governmental body. In Decorah, there are actual contests to determine who the lucky people will be to attend lengthy meetings.
In several cases last night, people who were running for office said they had grown up here or gone to college here, then returned and now want to help Decorah be a growing community. For instance, city council candidate Ross Hadley said, "Civic service is not an option, it's a requirement."
I left the forum thinking Decorah is in good hands, no matter which people get elected to the three positions on November's ballot. For that, we should all give thanks.