CLARKSBURG -- A political action committee normally is associated with national elections.
But one group of citizens believes that even local government entities need to be closely monitored.
CARE -- Citizens for Accountability, Reliability and Ethics -- is a grassroots, nonpartisan political action committee, according to the group's chairman, L. Wallace Brake.
The group was formed from a group of citizens concerned about governmental integrity and voter apathy, Brake said.
The group is specifically concerned with the elected membership of the Clarksburg Water Board presently, Brake said.
Integrity and ethical actions by all elected officials at every level of government should be a priority for all citizens, Brake said.
Just talking about change or accountability is not enough, he said; actions speak louder.
"Here in the past, voter turnout has been dismal. It's only in a time of crisis or scandal that gets people's attention does voter turnout increase," he said. "We feel that Clarksburg needs higher turnouts to get what the citizens need in the way of responsible local government.
"If you remember the last (city) election (in 1999) and the scandal around it ... it really got the voters out," he said. "We would like to see that kind of interest all the time without needing a scandal or something."
Brake said the first focus of the group is the June 5 municipal election.
Questionnaires were sent to each candidate vying for the two Clarksburg Water Board seats, he said.
The answers will be analyzed, and the executive committee will recommend to the full membership who they believe are the two best-qualified candidates for the board.
The key goals of the political action committee are to promote qualified candidates to the community, encourage voter participation in elections, evaluate candidates and report their findings, Brake said.
For information or to become a member of CARE, contact Brake at 623-0991 or Treasurer Paul Hornor Jr. at 624-6445.
Staff writer James Fisher can be reached at 626-1446 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.