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Be honest and forthright
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We're always puzzled by people who seek public office despite the fact they have a significant black mark on their criminal history.

Tony Flanagan is running for the District 3 board of commissioners seat, but we believe Mr. Flanagan should pull out of the race given the fact he was sentenced to four years in state prison for aggravated assault.
We gave Mr. Flanagan the opportunity to comment on his past conviction, but he chose not to return our calls.

Candidates need to realize that the media is obligated to ask about prior criminal histories and that there's not much a person can hide in today's world.

A minor offense is one thing, and a more significant crime may not matter as much if a person has truly turned their life around. But refusing to comment about a four-year state-prison sentence is unacceptable.

We are conducting background checks on all candidates, so if they have a serious, or minor, charge in their background, we invite them to tell us about it upfront so they can present their side of the story.

We want people to be involved in local politics, but we need leaders who respect the laws and values they're trying to promote.