Another short trip to the voting booth in a couple of city council districts is all that’s necessary to put the finishing faces to a new Minden administration for the next four years. Runoffs in December will pit Dist. A incumbent Wayne Edwards against Carlton Myles while Vincen “Cheese” Bradford hopes to defend the Dist. C seat he holds against Latasha Mitchell who wants to take it.
Already in hot seats are Mayor Nick Cox, Chief of Police Jared McIver and council persons Levon Thomas (B), Michael Roy (D) and Andy Pendergrass (E). It will be a first-time service adventure for Thomas and Pendergrass who we hope will list among their priorities the repair of, shall we say, a somewhat nicked image of local government.
While those three await the swearings-in (hopefully not followed by the swearing-at), the two chair residents facing opponents should be looking carefully at the numbers. Both Edwards and Bradford, who pulled 47 and 46 percent respectively in the first run, might be forgiven for wondering what those remaining percentages mean.
A long-time Rocker buddy who loves to dabble, says incumbents who draw less than 50 percent should be on the lookout for a potential skinnin’. It’s all in how you look at the numbers. In the case of these two incumbents, the numbers say 53 percent didn’t prefer Mr. Edwards; 54 percent said they would like someone other than Mr. Bradford.
In Edwards’ district, there’s only 12 percent of the first-time voter pool from which he needs to draw. But that figure could increase as voter interest in the next go ’round wanes as it most likely will. His district turned out only in the mid-40 percentages and that doesn’t bode well for a next time. His problem: How hard should he chase that missing percentage while still appealing to those who gave their vote initially.
It’s the same for Bradford, but in a larger perspective. In C, 29 percent of those who cast ballots voted for someone other than their current councilor. While Edwards had a pair of challengers, Bradford found himself facing off against three. And, as mentioned, those challengers received a comfortable majority. Next time you’ll find out if that 54 percent Bradford didn’t get was because he isn’t considered the candidate of choice.
If what we hear coming from inside both districts is an indication, the runoff winners could very well be decided from a pulpit.
While those two districts wait to be resolved, we hope the new office holders and Mr. Roy are taking a deep look inside what it’s going to take to get Minden moving. Yeah, there were some catchy slogans and some buzzy, fuzzy feel-good catch phrases during candidate gatherings, but those are past tense. Riding the bull, governmentally speaking, doesn’t stop when the eight-second horn sounds. And, as many have learned, the governmental bull will gore.
Much of the campaign conversation centered on unity. For those who are going to be leading us over the next four years, there needs to be a clear understanding that coming together requires everyone in the city and not just a chosen few. In the words of a wise one, the masses can be led by many but seldom pushed by few.
We understand office holders will seek advice, but there should be a healthy dose of consideration given to who those advisors are. One of our best buddies has been there, done that on just about every level of politics one can imagine. Just before this 2022 election cycle, where the ballyhooed Red Wave became a bloody trickle, he handed out some wisdom.
He says we shouldn’t think the right people are the ones with the most social media followers, the right standing among the social elite, the most university degrees or the healthiest financial statements. And, we might add, the right people shouldn’t be those who whisper only sweet words into the advisee’s ear. My ol’ daddy would tell us, if they only tell you what you want to hear you need to quit listening.
We expect from our public officials the best efforts they can give. That’s not much to ask. We don’t expect the commoners to be ignored and we don’t want those in power to consider themselves powerful. We’re looking for public servants, and we’ll know them when we see their work.
We want our elected officials to be interested in the interests of everyone, and not special consideration given to special interests. As we said previously, time and actions will separate those who make promises from those who keep them.
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