ROSES and The Spectrum's best wishes for success to all the winners, both incumbents and first-timers, in Tuesday's municipal elections throughout the Greater New Milford area. Of particular note are incumbents Mayor Pat Murphy in New Milford, First Selectmen Bill Stuart in Bridgewater, Barbara Henry in Roxbury, Mark Lyon in Washington, Jack Travers in Warren and Andrea O'Connor in Sherman, and First Selectman-elect Bruce Adams in Kent. They have all taken on an important charge to be sure their respective towns are shepherded with wisdom and perspective through particularly challenging economic times. We congratulate them on their victories and wish them well.

ROSES to those candidates, too, across party lines who fought the good campaign fight and came up short Tuesday. We thank them for their efforts to keep democracy alive on the local scene. We also hope they will stay involved to remind the powers that be to pay heed to all points of view and keep their governance on an even keel.

THORNS to the thousands of potential voters who failed to participate Tuesday. A town's municipal election is likely the most important vote a resident or taxpayer could cast since those elected make many decisions affecting citizens' everyday lives. Sadly, the many who stayed away from the polls that day abstained from their civic responsibility.