In January, I decided to run for Independence City Council. It was not some strange New Year’s Resolution, but something I felt was important to do. Let me explain.

I decided to run as a write-in candidate because I care deeply about and am invested in the community. We have three young children, Independence has great schools that educate all children and our family owns two businesses (a dental practice and a new business on the Independence Square.)

On April 3, we elect two City Council members. Due to some last-minute surprise development – an incumbent decided not to run – there were only three candidates for two positions when candidate filings closed last November. I felt voters deserved another choice.

That’s why I decided to run as a write-in, not because it was easy, but important. Some want to question whether I am a “legitimate” candidate. The simple answer is yes. I am a registered voter, live in Independence and filed the required paperwork to be a write-in candidate.

I have gone door-to-door visiting more than 1,500 households. I have participated in candidate forums, coffees, a parade, shared my efforts on social media and raised more than $10,000 with more than 25 individual contributions.

In short, I am a competitive candidate who interfered with plans by others to slide in office with little or no effort. One candidate, who perennially runs for every office, has filed paperwork saying he intends to spend less than $500 on his campaign. Another loaned his campaign $10,000 and has few individual contributions.

If the outcome of campaign was based on effort, I would be a clear winner. But it is not and I am asking you to write in Matt Medley on April 3. It is simple, easy and a line is provided on the ballot. The non-partisan election judges can also provide instructions. And at a personal level, I feel like I already have won.

This campaign has given me an opportunity to meet, talk and learn from people. They want better code enforcement, more cops on the streets, business-like decisions made about our utilities and to preserve the rich heritage of our community.

The people I have met want open, honest and transparent decisions and effective and efficient local government. Our focus needs to be not on who gets the work, but is it something worth doing and is how best way to do it.

Our community will be better, if all of us are more involved. Vote April 3.

This has been a rewarding, whirlwind effort and a reminder of why I love Independence.