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Leaders: Represent us all or face vengeance

This coming Friday, the county's Board of Elections will conduct a canvass, making the Nov. 7 election official.

And, out of 5,683 eligible voters, only 1,057 cast a ballot -- 18.6 percent, down from the 18.9 percent that cast a ballot during the 2015 municipal election.

It is, indeed, disappointing, that so few people take on the responsibility to shape municipal government that -- for the most part -- has the most significant impact on our day-to-day lives, from trash collection, to police protection to safe sidewalks.

Usually, when there is low voter turnout, the proper refrain is: If you don't vote, you can't complain.

It's catchy enough. Heck, I may have even said it myself.

The uncomfortable truth is: that statement is just not true.

Our elected officials represent us all, whether we voted for them, voted against them, or, like many, didn't vote at all.

That doesn't mean we forfeit our desire to be represented by the elected men and women in our communities who get to make leadership decisions.

Borrowing a comment from a friend, our elected leaders can't and don't serve in a vacuum.

To borrow further, when these folks take office in December, they need to hear from their constituents -- whether you voted for them, or not.

Yes, you should have voted. I should have voted. But, let's move forward, now.

Let your leaders hear from you. Yep, I'm stealing again: Be active. Be engaged. Be involved.

And, to those who were fortunate enough to be re-elected, and to those who were newly elected, take some advice from a candidate at a recent forum -- promise to listen more than you speak.

Take to heart and listen to the concerns of the people you represent, whether they voted for you, or not -- you represent us all.

And, when you do speak, speak with the passion that the people in your community deserve.

Because, if you don't -- and this is where Democracy is so grand -- there could and should be someone waiting in the wings to run for your political office in four years.

And, based on write-in candidates whose names were scribbled onto Nov. 7 ballots, it could be anyone who decides that they want to try their hand at politics.

In Bunn, it could be the husband of a political newcomer.

In Franklinton, it could be a leader in the fire department, or a former county economic development director.

In Louisburg, it could be someone I've never heard of.

In Youngsville, it could be a former mayor. Or, strangely enough, it could be Batman. Yep, that's right, the Dark Knight was a write-in entry for the Youngsville Board of Commissioners.

So, stay on your toes, candidates, do the people's work and lead by example.

Or else, Batman and his deep pockets could wind up on the ballot in 2020 and you know he doesn't mind spending money or running a grim and dark campaign.


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