This is it, cousins.
This is the home stretch for the 2020 municipal elections scheduled for Aug. 25. This is the last opportunity for the candidates to convince you to vote for them. And for you, the voters, to educate yourselves on what each candidate brings to the table.
Abraham Lincoln said it best: “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fires and burn their behinds, they will just have to sit on the blisters.”
I’m not going to lie, elections frighten me, especially on the municipal level. With one vote, the course of a town can change because people haven’t done their research and will vote for the popular choice, not the one that is in fact best for the business of the town.
You survey the different communities within the coverage area of this paper and then you look at the candidates.
In Alexander City, the candidates for the different branches of government had their opportunities to address the residents and share their ideas.
But that wasn’t the story in other areas. The candidate forum originally planned at Tallassee High School through the Tallassee Area Chamber of Commerce and the Tallassee Community Development Corporation was all of a sudden canceled because it was deemed essentially “too people-y” and there was a risk of “contaminating the areas” before the students return next month.
Canceling that event is to the detriment of the town because now there is no forum to engage the candidates. Sure, there was a Facebook Live event scheduled for Monday night, but that wasn’t engagement. It was candidates reciting their reasons to be elected.
It seems some people in this town, especially during election seasons, are more concerned with catching a councilperson drinking a cold beer at a citywide event than attending a council meeting and witnessing how much has been achieved.
This society has a “what have you done for me lately” mentality and I’m frightened this is going to pour over into the election.
For the first time in a long time, Tallassee and other areas within the region are on a forward trajectory and things are happening to propel the communities further forward.
Author Jill Telford said: “Hustle for your communities like you did for your election.”
For the most part, the current slate of town leaders has done that by improving Tallassee’s infrastructure and reducing the debt limit to something manageable. But that’s just the beginning.
I’ll honestly be glad when the election is over and we can focus on more pressing matters: high school football, “The Walking Dead” Season 10 finale and the continual descent into “Jumanji” 2020. Apparently now, we have firenados to deal with.
Lou Henry Hoover, wife of turn-of-the-century president Herbert Hoover, said: “The fact that we have the vote means nothing; the fact that we use it the right way means everything.”
In the days between now and Aug. 25, I encourage you to go out and engage with the candidates and ask their thoughts and opinions on things. Find out who is running to better Tallassee and the surrounding areas and who is running just because they are mad at someone else. Being angry but having no plan doesn’t constitute a good candidate.
Anger with a mission; drive with a goal; that means everything.
It’s that simple.
Griffin Pritchard is a regular columnist and longtime correspondent for TPI.