Early voting kicked off Monday morning and some brave Barrow County souls had already cast their ballots by the time photographer Jessica Brown and I ventured over to election headquarters shortly after 9 a.m.
While I consider myself a political junkie, I must admit I have not made up my mind at this juncture on all races (some yes, all no) so it will be a little while longer before I do my patriotic duty this summer.
We’ve heard this said about elections past, but it could not be truer this time around. Voting is extremely important in 2010, both at the state and local levels.
Our county and state are in a mess — financial and otherwise — and it is going to take the ultimate level of leadership to get us out of it. Under the gold dome, we are wrapping up eight years of the worst governor in the history of Georgia. Of the varied candidates we have running for governor in 2010 (and there are marked differences between some of them for sure), I honestly can’t see there being anyone of them who would be worse for our state than Sonny Perdue.
When you boil it down, Perdue has been a disaster. A trainwreck. A collapsed building. A second coming of the Hindenburg. Perdue has been inactive when he should have been active. He has been active when he should have been inactive. A joke on all fronts. He can’t leave the governor’s mansion quick enough. Get someone else, anyone else, in there for goodness sake.
On the homefront in Barrow County, we have important elections (which for the most part will be decided in the primary) on the Board of Commissioners and Board of Education. Both governing bodies are struggling mightily when it comes to finances although the reasons are numerous.
One can only wonder how crowded the field would be this summer if the county chairman seat was up this summer. The latest debacle involving our chairman and his attempt to limit the media access to government employees is another in a growing line of embarrassing items which have surfaced in recent weeks and months.
Numerous people have asked me about our chairman and why I think he acts the way he does. I honestly don’t know since I don’t know him personally, but I do know the county operations have been under an intense magnifying glass since he took office. Our paper debuted right when he took office so gone are the days of local elected officials receiving a free pass in Barrow County in terms of the media.
As long as your taxdollars are being used to fund local government, then we will continue to ask the hard questions. That’s our role as a watchdog and one that we will never shy away from. It doesn’t matter whether the county chairman or any elected officials like it or not.
So as you make your decision on which candidate gets your vote — both local and statewide — be sure to put be some thought into it. And for goodness sake, exercise your right to vote. I don’t care if you ask for a Republican or Democratic primary ballot this summer, just ask for one. There is too much at stake not to get involved in the election process.
As we move forward, let’s hope the candidates we elect are ones who will always keep what’s best for the people at the forefront and not betray those who put them in office. Power can be the ultimate high but one should also remember that power can easily be taken away just as it was given. Hopefully, the people with the power will remember to exercise their duty this summer.
Chris Bridges is editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.