Mid-December 2017 I wrote the following:
“Besides ‘voter oppression,’ do you want to know what the two worst words are in this current climate of democracy? ‘Ran unopposed.’”
That was in reference to the lack of candidates that filed for various county-wide positions. The county judge was unopposed, the district clerk was unopposed, county clerk, county surveyor and even the county commissioners seats were all unopposed.
I compared this to going to Burger King with their slogan “have it your way,” but upon ordering food, the cashier tells you “actually, all we have are chicken nuggets.”
Well, it’s about that time to order once again. I’m hoping this go-round, citizens actually have a chance to make a choice.
I hear the complaints from multiple fronts. I won’t speak for my colleagues here at the paper, but I imagine they’ve heard them too. Whether it’s taxes, how to spend city money or issues at the school district, I’ve heard them all.
But now, instead of complaints, this week can be step one to a solution.
The filing period began yesterday for candidates wishing to appear on the May 4 municipal and school board elections for Gonzales, Nixon, Waelder and Smiley. For more information, read Erik McCowan’s article on the front page with insight on which seats are up.
I’m tired of this current cycle of decision making. It’s been the same script year after year. First, it’s the social media posts complaining about our elected officials. Then election season comes, someone writes a letter to the editor reiterating the importance of voting, a small fraction of the voting population decides the fate of their city due to low voter turnout, then we get back to the cycle of more complaints on social media.
And to be clear, I am not endorsing change just for the sake of change. I’m not saying anything about the current administration or any seat that’s up for grabs. What I am endorsing is democracy, and that doesn’t work without choices.
Let this be the year that we change the script. Let 2019 be the rebirth of actual democracy in Gonzales County.
If not, then those same “chicken nuggets” I talked about in 2017 can just put their name next to any position they so please, leaving the voting public powerless.