The Cullman Times
Qualifying for candidates to seek municipal office passed without too many surprises.
Some of the races are already decided because few people stepped forward to challenge incumbents.
What does that mean? Complacency? Confidence in the incumbents?
Probably all of the above.
Serving as a mayor or city council member requires the commitment of a great deal of personal time, learning about issues, and patience. For some officeholders, the phone rings often as constituents complain and lobby for one thing or another. Sound fun?
The more seasoned officeholders in the area are well aware of what comes with the voters’ approval. Winning elected office in some cases is a popularity contest, but it’s also a mandate to secure a community’s future.
Voters are ultimately expressing their confidence that a chosen candidate is capable of being a good steward of tax dollars and public services. They want open meetings and honest reports on the state of the community. And they want an environment that is primed for growth and established a future for the next generation.
Those who will take office after the August elections are settled should also understand that remaining in voters’ favor is not a simple task. The honeymoon ends shortly after it starts. Even the wisdom of Solomon can do little to appease the voting public.
As contentious as it may seem, holding office is accomplished one day at a time. But that’s the way of governments in America. Voters have the right to choose or refuse an incumbent or challenger. Whoever wins office quickly falls into a fishbowl for all to observe.
There is no better way to run government. As the elections approach, candidates should be mindful that the most important decisions made on city and town councils are not about protecting or building institutions. Every decision made by a town or city council should be about the welfare of the people, because they are the community and the authors of every dollar appropriated by government.