Editor's column.

How many times this summer, when it started pouring down rain, did you think, “Those poor guys,” meaning, of course, the construction crews trying to pour new sidewalks on Main Street? Well, we all saw the many long days and Saturdays they put in, and it paid off. The paving of the highway has gone pretty smoothly (smooth, new highway, get it? HaHa) and the entire project will be almost done by Aug. 17—Corn Day.

After talking to Robert Jones, from MnDOT, it is my understanding there will not be any orange cones around that day. There will be a temporary center ‘stripe’ on Main Street—actually I think it is those yellow tabs. That is not the finished look of Main Street.

Action will pause for Corn Days weekend and on Monday the new signal lights will go in at the intersection of 4 and 14, and the real stripes will be painted on the highway.

The new configuration will mark five lanes: parking, through lane, turn lane, through lane, parking. Yes, there will be a left turn lane down the center of the highway, all the way through town. No more back-ups while a vehicle is waiting to turn left off Main Street. The crosswalks in the downtown core will be painted with wide white stripes, clearly marking them as pedestrian crosswalks. There will be push buttons on all four corners to activate the flashing lights at First Avenue and Main Street.

We are all going to have to slow down when we drive through town, learn the proper use of the left turn lanes, and learn to step off the curb and walk across the street after we see that the traffic has stopped. We can do this.

Tuesday is the primary election. Primaries often do not draw a lot of voters, but I think this one will be different for Brown County voters. At least I hope so. Four dedicated law enforcement professionals have declared they are willing to serve as Brown County Sheriff. Only two of those men will appear on the general election ballot in November. You—the primary election voters—will decide which two men will continue in the race. That alone should get you to the voting booth on Tuesday.

The other decisions that come from the primary are narrowing the field for our two U.S. Senators, our U.S. Representative, our Governor and Attorney General. Generally these primary races draw only the party faithful and the decision is thus made by a small group of voters. I hope that local interest in the Sheriff’s race will bring in more voters to weigh in those other federal and state offices.

Sleepy Eye residents vote at the Community Center (next door to City Hall) and township voters either received mail ballots or vote in their normal polling places. A number of Brown County townships have switched to mail ballots. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14.

Be a patriot, participate in our country’s voting process.