Why the council seat vote is important

Published 7:13 pm Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The city of LaFayette will soon hold a special election to fill a council seat left open by Matthew Hurst, who resigned from his position in June.

The decision came after councilmember Michael Ellis suggested it during a meeting last Monday night.

“It has been almost two months since former council member Hurst left,” Ellis said during the meeting. “We have had 60 days to appoint somebody, but not once did we get together to say that we should have a work session to discuss these candidates. I say let the citizens elect through their vote who they want to represent them.”

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The city will have to get the request for a special election approved by Gov. Kay Ivey.

Historically, the turnout for local elections and special elections are lower than the average national or Presidential election. Citizens must understand the importance of locally-elected officials.

The decisions of local politicians affect citizens’ everyday lives far more than the decisions that are made on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Federal officials are not going to be the first to fix a pothole that needs attention on the street outside of the neighborhood.

The typical Congressman or Congresswoman, in all likelihood, doesn’t live within 15 minutes of the majority of the citizens they’re representing. Elected officials don’t get more local and personal than a council member representing a citizen’s district.

If there is a change that a citizen desires to see, the city council is the group to go to. If citizens want council members who will bring changes as efficient and prompt as possible, then the citizens should show up to vote for the candidate who will accomplish those tasks in that manner.

Citizens are encouraged to speak out when problems are evident within a city. One of the primary ways we have to ensure our voices are heard is through the voting process, which is most important when dealing with local elections.