City Council seats in Goldsboro are becoming a hot commodity, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
All things considered, a flurry of candidates to file by the July 19 deadline is good for Goldsboro: its people and its city government operations. A city runs best when it has creative, dedicated leadership. This is not an indictment against the current council, which has elevated the board’s presence in the public eye, whether by positive deeds or controversial actions. The more the general public takes notice of the City Council, the better the chance that a wide variety of candidates will seek office. And this council has made sure the people have taken notice.
We editorialized last week on the importance of more people coming out to run for City Council or their town boards and councils if they live outside of Goldsboro. So to see that seven filed to run for a Goldsboro City Council seat, as of Tuesday, with several possible candidates waiting in the wings, is right promising. If all the races require an October primary vote because the fields are too crowded, is of great benefit to the city.
The benefit will be lost, however, if people not running for office do not get out to vote. We can go on and on about voting is not just a right but a privilege; voting leads to a peaceful change of power; and we owe it to our posterity to instill the importance of going to the polls and casting a vote. All of that is true and found in community newspaper editorials since the beginning of time.
Dane Beavers shared a great reason to vote in Wednesday’s News-Argus. Beavers, the Wayne County Board of Elections director, told reporter Eddie Fitzgerald that when the polls see a low number of voters, it encourages candidates with extremist ideas to run for public office. That makes sense. Apathy, like familiarity, breeds contempt. When people with personal, hidden agendas recognize that the public doesn’t care who holds a place on the City Council, they will run for office and bring their baggage with them.
In many cases, council members who hold low-voter seats tend not to get along well with most others on council. They talk a good game about working for the people and standing up for the people. But if the people didn’t care enough to come out and vote, will extremist council members put forward their best efforts in support of the people? No, they will not. They do not.
As we cheer along with the rising number of people who may seek a seat on the City Council, let’s all keep in mind that people coming out to run for office is just the first half of the political equation. Voters must be added in significant number to equal good government for all.