Council election is important to everyone

Published 11:49 am Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Qualifying for municipal elections in Jemison, Thorsby, Maplesville and Clanton began on Tuesday. The election of mayors and council members will be held August 26.

The elections in all four communities are important, and qualified voters in each town should consider the August 26 election to be more important than the November 4 presidential election.

Yep. I said more important.

Those elected on August 26 will directly serve us for the next four years. They will have more direct impact on our lives than will the person elected to lead our nation the same four years.

I am sure there are many reading this column that will disagree with the importance I place on local elections. Many people are caught up in the excitement of the national campaigns and that’s OK.

I don’t disagree that presidential politics are exciting, but I’m not sure the President of the United States will come to my aid when I need a pothole repaired in the front of my home. I’ll bet a call to the council member in my ward and the mayor will help solve my problem much faster.

My point is that all of us voters need to get excited about local elections and plan to participate in the election process. Electing the best qualified candidates to fill the offices of mayor and town councils should be our goal.

Council members and mayors in Chilton County can determine over the next four years how our garbage is collected, what we will pay for water we consume, the economic growth of our communities as well as the amount of sales taxes we pay. They serve as both the executive and legislative branches of local government.

Their actions touch our lives quickly and directly. The decisions they make will shape the future of our communities and impact decisions you and I make about our businesses and families.

I plan to vote in both the August 26 and the November 4 presidential election. Both are important.

But when I consider the impact the results each election will have on my life, voting for a president just doesn’t tip the scales like voting for a local candidate does.

Note: Mike Kelley is the publisher of The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears on Sundays.