While much of the media’s attention during elections is focused on national campaigns along with a sprinkling of some state concerns usually involving inflammatory culture-war issues, the most important choices voters make are in local races.

Policies approved by the more than 87,000 local governing bodies nationwide generally have greater impact on individual citizens than those made in far-away Washington. Examples include the setting of tax rates and determining spending for needed services and keeping communities safe.

Jim Waters is president and CEO of the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Kentucky’s free-market think tank. Read previous columns at www.bipps.org. Reach him at jwaters@freedomkentucky.com and @bipps on Twitter.