There’s an election on Tuesday.
It’s been proven time and time again that these local municipal elections as well as primaries don’t receive the same kind of attention that general election’s receive.
The apathy is astounding.
One letter writer, Coleman Speece, pointed out that of nearly 8,000 eligible voters in the town, only 375 participated in the town of South Boston’s last election.
The stories and headlines are always the same “low turnout expected,” “turnout was expected” even dating back 20 to 40 years ago.
I’m not sure what it would take to grab citizens’ attention to get them to the polls.
These individuals who serve on the local town councils such as South Boston’s make decisions that impact the every day lives of town residents from how much taxes they’ll impose to what type of businesses or industries they’ll allow in a certain area of town.
Wouldn’t you like to have someone serve who’s views line up with yours?
Running for election this year are incumbents Tina Wyatt Younger, who also serves as vice-mayor, Bob Hughes and Michael Byrd.
Also seeking a seat are Joe Chandler, Tommy Elliott and Harriett Claiborne.
It has always been a pleasure working with Tina, Bob and Michael.
I’ve seen Tina’s work with the Mentor Role Model Program, and I’ve been photographing the accomplishments of the Habitat for Humanity, in which Bob has a strong influence, since I started here at the paper.
I honestly do not know Michael well, but he stepped in to fill the seat left vacant by the late Billy Clarke, and has been a vocal, hard-working member since.
Of course, you all know how I know Joe. He was the sports editor here at The Gazette-Virginian for many years and worked through the ranks before he landed that dream spot. He’s followed local government since being with the paper, and understands the ins and outs of local government and the importance of getting to know town residents.
And, I don’t know Tommy that well either, but even I have heard of Tommy Elliott with Elliott Electric, and his resume is impressive. He seems well prepared for anything that being on town council could throw at him.
Harriet is another candidate I’m not familiar with, but I’m sure if she’s anything like her husband, she will be up for the job. I also interviewed her husband, William Bryant Claiborne before to do a spotlight for Black History Month, and he was a pleasure to speak with.
All in all, I’m not sure how town residents are going to pick.
I live out in the county so I can’t vote.
But, regardless of whom you would choose to fill the three open seats, go vote.
Polls open Tuesday, May 19 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those in line by 7 p.m. will be able to vote.
Follow the paper in the upcoming days for more information on how to vote.
And, yes, you heard that right. There’s six candidates vying for three seats, and I think any one of these candidates could be up for the job.
I believe it’ll be a close one.