When voters in Denison go to the polls in May, they will be choosing nearly half of the city council moving forward into coming years. In total, four spots, including the mayoral position, will be up for grabs this spring.

With long-time Mayor Jared Johnson reaching the end of his term limit, this election could shape the future course for the city for the next four years or more. The four positions include three expiring terms and Janet Gott’s at-large seat, following the announcement she would be running for the mayor of Denison position.

The Denison City Council is expected to call a special election to fill Gott’s seat when it meets Feb. 5. As of Wednesday, only two candidates in different races have registered for the upcoming election, leaving the future of some spots up in the air.

While many cities across the region will be making similar decisions come May, I’m using Denison as an example as that’s my main beat here at the Herald Democrat. With that in mind, I urge anyone who has been considering running for office to put serious thought into it because the system works best when people get involved.

As the elections approach, we will be writing stories on many of the candidates who are running for office. I’ve enjoyed writing these stories in the past as it gives me a chance to look into what each candidate wishes to bring to the table for their community. For some, it is the ability to stay the course and continue what has worked. For others, they hope to bring a new approach and direction that hasn’t been considered or pursued in the past.

During my tenure as a journalist, I have seen many elections cancelled due to races being uncontested, which feels like it goes against the spirit of our system of government and the voting process.

For those who do not feel the call to run, I urge all to at least take the time to learn the issues and have their voices heard at the polls this May.

Happy birthday Saturday to Tozorian Smith, Daisey Jackson and DJ Brown, all of Sherman; Linda Bryant of Denison; and Madeline Douglas of Howe.

Happy anniversary Saturday to James and Jeannie Shockley of Bonham, 58 years.