We all need to work together despite our choices

Published 5:28 pm Monday, August 25, 2008

In less than five days we’ll know who will be elected to serve the next four years as mayor and on the city council for the City of Selma and for Valley Grande. Much has been said in this election cycle regarding the importance of these elections, what they will mean to the cities and their residents, but much has also been said about what will happen if [insert candidate name] is, or is not, elected.

Not everyone’s candidate is going to win, but many people I’ve spoken to are treating this election as if it is doomsday — meaning if it doesn’t go their way, something drastic is going to happen to the community.

It’s as if they believe the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are going to ride into town chopping people’s heads off or a gigantic sink hole is going to open up and swallow every man, woman and child in the community if “candidate x” wins.

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The reality is that this election will come and go, people will take their seats in the city council chambers and life will go on. To me, it all boils down to one question: What are we [all of us] going to do, regardless of who wins or loses, to make things better in Dallas County for ourselves and our children?

Certainly there are many opportunities to do that, and our elected officials are crucial cogs on the wheel of progress, but you know as well as I that if we all just pulled together, it wouldn’t matter who our elected officials were.

More could be accomplished in Selma if people just quit complaining about “how bad things are here” and did something about whatever it is they think is bad. Personally, I don’t think things are as bad as people say they are, but I’ve only lived here a couple of years so what do I know, right?

Don’t get me wrong, something needs to be done about the bi-monthly circus we call city council meetings, and I expect voters will repair some of that situation Tuesday, but the solution is not going to be perfect. Some things are going to remain broken until somebody, and not necessarily our elected officials, step up and do something about it.

Selma is a beautiful city with a lot of history, but sometimes people let history get in the way of progress. They dwell on how “great things were here when…,” or they point fingers and blame somebody else for their lot in life. So when the polls close Aug. 26 and the votes are tallied, if your candidate isn’t the one smiling, you owe it to yourself, your family and your community to do the right thing. And that thing is more than just marking a ballot and then spending the next four years complaining.

Dennis Palmer is publisher of The Selma Times-Journal. He can be reached at 410-1712 or by email at dennis.palmer@selmatimesjournal.com.