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Hill Country Living

Our Local Elections Make A Difference


Here it is again, yet another Tuesday morning and I am up early sitting in a hotel bed writing my column from another city. This time I’m in Atlanta. You would think I travel a lot, considering how many times I wind up writing a column from a hotel but I actually rarely go anywhere outside of Water Valley besides Oxford. It just so happens that almost every time I go out of town I wind up having to write my column. I’m like that Dos Equis beer guy meme. “I don’t always leave Water Valley, but when I do it’s on a Tuesday.”

So, this is the last paper before the local elections!  You might not think that last sentence deserves an exclamation point, because maybe you think local elections are not exciting enough to warrant special punctuation. Well, I am personally excited because I am officially about to endorse some candidates!

First, let me say, that local elections is where the real change that actually affects you on a day to day basis happens. Want your  lights on and your toilets to flush? Local elections. 

Want the south side of town to quit smelling like your toilets don’t flush? Local elections. 

Want affordable housing in Water Valley without sacrificing quality of said housing? 

Local elections. Want the schools to get a decent shake? 

Local elections. 

Want a bar? Local elections.

You get my drift.

I also want to say that while I think the current Board of Aldermen is made up of some nice people who have lived here a long time and seem to be loyal servants of our town, I’m not sure I know too much about many of them. Specifically, the sound of their voices. 

Having worked on several boards I have never seen one where everyone was so silent. From my experience on board work, there is usually a lot of discussion, with each member adding their specific expertise and insight into whatever the discussion is at hand. When a board gets to a point where the members just kinda quit talking, then I feel the structure and initial intent of having a board in the first place isn’t quite working.

Here are some people beside which I have served on boards and, let me say, they aren’t quiet: Kagan Coughlin, Cinnamon Foster, and Amos Harvey. And, hey, wouldn’t ya know? They are all running for aldermen seats. 

Kagan’s commitment to this town is clear not only in his properties but in his starting the computer school and his raising his family here. Kagan is one smart cookie, calm and sensible. 

Cinnamon is not only a local with a business in health care, but she is also a committed property owner. She is one of those wonderful locals who walks the line between old Water Valley and new Water Valley. It is exactly these people who will move us forward. She is not afraid to speak and she is a woman! Let’s just come out and say that this town doesn’t need to be run entirely by men considering half of us are not men.

Amos Harvey is management incarnate. Given the opportunity, there is just about nothing he can’t run. And he is also completely unintimidateable (if that is a word.) He and I have our kids here in the school system, as well, and I think it’s immensely important to have a parent or two of school age children helping to make the decisions around here.

Those are really the only ones I know enough to endorse although I will say that if I lived in Ward 4 I would vote for Nicole Folson. She approached me at the Candidate Meet and Greet at Mechanics Bank (where, by the way, one current alderman said he only showed up so the paper couldn’t write that he wasn’t there. So, here is the paper writing that you were definitely there!) 

Nicole was lovely and friendly and our young sons both had ball games that night so we talked about little league and how Ward 4 is really pretty and on my running route. It doesn’t take much to reach out and connect, ya know? 

And then there is the vote for Mayor. Oh, being Mayor. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Mainly because newspaper columnists such as myself will pop up out of nowhere and write snarky, sarcastic columns about you and the hard work you do. I’m not completely committed yet as too which of the mayoral candidates I would like to criticize most in my column for the next few years. 

I have until May 2 to figure it out. I hope all of you take just a few minutes out of your day and vote. Whether you vote for the old guard or the new, or a mixture of the two, just vote.

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