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The upcoming election (early voting starts Oct. 16, Election Day is Nov. 5) offers Morganton residents an opportunity to make some significant changes to city council. Change for its own sake is often disruptive without being productive, but there are times when the status quo needs to be disrupted. This is one of those times. In the past year some members of city council have shown a surprising lack of awareness regarding the importance of transparency in how city business is conducted. For whatever reason, many people are distrustful of government; more safeguards against potential conflicts of interest and more openness concerning decision-making are what is required, not less.

This is not meant to be a blanket indictment of city council. Morganton is on the rise, for many of us, and council members deserve some of the credit. However, not everyone's voice is being heard and not everyone's experience is being respected. We made some progress in 2017, giving a significant segment of the population (women) a representative in the discussion. It is time to do the same with young people.

Voting for Isaac Crouch would be a step in the right direction. Isaac's connection to Morganton is strong and his love of his hometown is obvious. Like many people his age, Isaac's future and Morganton's future are intertwined. We need someone on city council who not only intellectually understands the challenges facing the city but whose life will be directly affected by how we address those challenges, now and for years to come.

It is a mistake to assume that someone Isaac's age lacks the experience necessary to be a city leader. He has a solid grasp of the technological changes that will be necessary for Morganton to attract new businesses. He is well aware of the problems we face due to a rapidly changing climate. He understands the importance of affordable housing. His generation has come of age in the midst of these issues.

Don't just take my word for it, since I am obviously on the Crouch bandwagon. Do a little research, check out the other candidates. Isaac can speak for himself, if you give him a chance. Above all, get out and vote. If you don't participate in the process, you won't have a say in the result.

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