As the election season continues to creep along at a snail’s pace, local voters are still confused. Months of talk, two political forums and hundreds of mailouts have done little to inform voters how those running for city council and mayor really plan to improve the lives of local citizens and tackle serious issues that face our city.

In other words, we’ve listened a lot, but learned very little. So goes politics - American style.

Wrought full of meaningless sludge and words that do more to confuse than clarify, most of the candidates running for office this year have shared little, if anything, about their plans for the city.

If they have one, they’re keeping it secret.

On numerous occasions, I’ve heard candidates say they are proponents of clean water and safe streets, which is great, I guess. But now that we have that settled, let me throw in a few more no-brainers.

I like breathing fresh air, eating food that’s not contaminated with e-coli, and roads with no potholes. Just for kicks, let me also say that I like flowers that smell good, men with a limited amount of body hair, and soy lattes over ice.

But if I were a serious candidate running a serious race, I’d offer my voters something more substantial in terms of what they envision for the city and a map on how to get there.

Everyone wants clean water and safe streets. Agreed.

But what local residents also want is less meaningless talk and more action. They want their elected officials to roll up their sleeves and get to work and stop wasting time on pithy issues that do nothing to improve our quality of life. (Think Pledge of Allegiance debate.)

Likewise, they’re searching for city representation packaged with grace and dignity. Not too long ago, I heard a candidate tell voters not to vote “for the person who is the best looking.”

If you’re confused, feel the love.

No one I know will vote for the “best looking” candidate on Election Day.

Informed voters are looking for the best and the brightest. They’re pulling for the candidates who will represent the city in a positive light; ones who know when to speak and when to listen; ones who won’t shamelessly use the city as a way to bring attention to themselves - or their personal agenda.

This year’s election is critical. Don’t be fooled by all the talk.

SARA VANDEN BERGE is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at 254-968-2379, ext. 240.