Prepared for a career in journalism by building Ford Pintos, driving school buses and being a janitor at Kmart. I've also been a business editor, entertainment editor and nature columnist. Graduated from a college that no longer exists.

Five days each week we publish Press editorials on issues and topics that are strongly related to local communities, the region and the state. They appear at the top of the Opinion page.

The editorials express the views of the Press Editorial Board — which includes the publisher, executive editor, managing editor and myself — and so are labeled “Our View.”

We consider it part of our responsibilities to consider issues carefully, analyze them and think hard about what’s in the best interest of readers and the general public. And often we try to express what we find and how we think strongly and convincingly.

But that doesn’t mean we put our opinions above others’. And we won’t, for example, tell you who to vote for.

As we’ve said before, our views aren’t inherently more legitimate than those expressed in hundreds of Voice of the People letters from readers, in nationally syndicated essays by dozens of columnists and in guest commentaries written by people with a stake in issues or an acknowledged expertise and experience in the matter.

That’s why we really do welcome other views, even directly opposed to ours, in letters to the editor or in guest commentaries by qualified writers.

We contribute to the marketplace of civic ideas like everyone else. Everyone’s arguments, including ours, should be weighed according to the awareness, reasoning and compassion that formed them. If readers find our arguments convincing, that’s great.

But we never think of our understanding and opinion as the final say, and always as a contribution to a public discussion that we hope eventually reaches the right decision on this issue at this time for the community.

With a big state election on Nov. 7, this is a good time to remember that the goal for us and everyone else is a citizenry sufficiently informed and capable to decide the best path forward and vote for who is more likely to lead in that direction. The best public servants are those who help develop and carry out their constituents’ beliefs and desires of what their government should be and do.

We don’t think it’s appropriate for us to suggest to voters what their hopes and feelings should be, so we don’t endorse candidates for election. Voting for one candidate rather than another is the most personal, complex, essential and by law private element of democracy.

But as part of our responsibility to inform the community, we will discuss what we think is important in election contests and discuss differences we’ve discerned in our interviews of candidates. The first of four editorials on candidates in next month’s election is on the facing page.

To those who wish we would be more decisive (particularly in favor of their preferred candidate), we say that it’s the people who need to be decisive and be good at it. Our job is to help them.

Kevin Post is editorial page editor. Email him at kpost@pressofac.com.

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