Let's face it, Talladega is on the threshold of a new day in leadership with the results of Tuesday's election! I see two very strong and distinctive messages the voters voiced. First of all and perhaps most importantly, two newcomers were elected outright, both upsetting candidates who have served multiple terms on the council previously.
One would have to acknowledge that the people were tired of representatives who have served more than once in the past, but with little progress to show for it. The exception, however, is Councilman Horace Patterson, who is quick to point to the fact he has already served more than 20 years on the council. Nevertheless, Patterson's longevity should not deter incoming councilmen from pushing forward with a progressive agenda. Hopefully, they have been given a mandate by the voters who are hungry for positive change — and a city that stays within its budget.
Additionally, for sitting councilmen to ignore the message of the feelings regarding the proposed splash pad and critical street repair needs would be a colossal mistake. If you will recall from remarks by the candidates at the candidate forum at the Ritz on Aug. 20, those incumbent councilmen and candidates who spoke favoring the splash pad were soundly defeated. Again, Horace Patterson is the exception.
With Tuesday's results, we already know that the voting majority has swung to new blood. With the runoff, research indicates that yet another incumbent will be defeated, thus, further reinforcing a new panel of leadership.
I personally feel we should all be very proud of how our democracy worked Tuesday and support our new council if at all possible. It appears that just slightly more than 25 percent of the voters turned out Tuesday. We can and must do better than allowing a quarter of our voters to make our decisions on leadership.
James W. Anderson