Drop the petitions against Valley Grande

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 16, 2003

Last week, a group of citizens in the Valley Grande area voted to incorporate and form a town.

The voters had a simple choice: Either vote yes to form a new town or no to remain as they were. By a 9-1 margin, they voted to form a new town.

That should be the end of the story, right? It actually may be the beginning or at least one novel in what may become a series.

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The election results are being contested. That’s not a new situation in Dallas County. And as we see it in this case, the results are being contested over minor technicalities.

Attorney Collins Pettaway filed a petition the day before the election that alleged that the boundaries of the new town were not accurate. This petition was filed on behalf of resident Tamara Duncan.

Another petition was filed stating that resident Rita M. Lett and her children attempted to reach election officials about absentee voting. They claim they received no response and were denied their right to vote.

It is a gray area whether or not an absentee ballot has to be supplied for an incorporation election. Gray areas are open to interpretation.

The issue of an absentee box would perhaps carry merit if the election were close.

But it wasn’t.

Of the nearly 1,400 people eligible to vote, 821 voted for the incorporation.

That’s a very clear majority. The outcome was not affected by the lack of an absentee voting process.

Elections are held so that the will of the people can be expressed. Clearly, the majority of the people within the Valley Grande town boundaries voted to incorporate.

What could be any clearer?

Unfortunately, a few are trying to cloud the matter. This does not need to be a situation that drags on through numerous hearings and courts.

All involved should realize the firm voice that comes from a strong number of people voting yes to an issue.

We urge those who filed the petition to realize this. Their energies will be better spent working toward making the new town successful.

Little will be gained on this issue if we wade through a number of hearings in order to reverse a decision that was so clearly stated.