On Tuesday, the people of Talladega went to the polls to select their leaders for the next four years.
For those who ran but came up short when the votes were counted, thank you for your candidacy.
Our city benefits when its residents are in tune with what’s happening at City Hall and in the schools, and anyone who is willing to tackle the challenge of running for public office is deserving of respect. For those candidates whose election day ended in disappointment, we hope you will not get discouraged but instead continue to allow your voice to be heard.
To any candidates headed to a runoff (due to deadlines, this editorial was written ahead of Tuesday’s vote), we wish you luck as you prepare for Round 2.
But most of all, today, we want to address Tuesday’s winners.
First, congratulations to you, your families and others who worked on your behalf. Our guess is that you are a least a little tired — and that’s understandable after a long campaign — but also happy, as you should be.
Between now and the start of your term in November, we hope you’ll take some time to rest and recharge. You deserve it, and besides, we need you at your best when you take office.
Our city and our school system face challenges, and we’re going to expect you to attack those challenges and do so in what we hope will be a positive manner. We’re going to expect you to bring new ideas to the table, we’re going to expect you to express your opinion, and we’re going to expect you to be a team player, even on those occasions when the board you’re a part of rejects one of your ideas in favor of another.
Our city and school system, to be blunt, have been hurt in the past by the lack of teamwork on both the council and BOE, and we hope you will do your part to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself over the next four years.
Also, our staff at The Daily Home paid close attention to what you had to say during the campaign, and we intend to report on whether you follow up after taking office.
If you based your campaign on the need to pave roads, we’re going to expect you to make that a top priority. If you talked about bringing more industry to town, we’re going to be watching to see what actions you take to help make that happen. If you said the BOE needs to do “X, Y and Z” to make our schools better, we expect you to follow up.
Finally, we hope you’ll dedicate yourself to having thick skin. There are going to be some tough times over the next four years, times when you have to face difficult issues/problems where no matter what you do or say, you’re going to make somebody unhappy. We’re going to expect you to tackle those issues head on, as opposed to running for cover. And we’re going to expect you to explain why you voted the way you did, because your constituents deserve more than a “no comment.”
At The Daily Home, we want to have a positive, productive relationship with all our city leaders, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to be afraid to task tough questions or point out when you appear to be failing to follow up on campaign promises.
And, yes, we’ll be there to trumpet your successes as well, and we hope those are many. Because if you’re successful in moving our city and school system forward, everyone benefits.
But all that is for another day. For today, we say congratulations, and good luck.