Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - October 19, 2007

Don't blame voters for low turnout

I am writing in response to Andrew Dys' column and The Herald's editorial regarding the turnout for Tuesday's City Council election. In the final assessment, I totally agree with Mr. Dys that moving city elections to even-numbered years on the second Tuesday in November is long overdue.

But that is where my agreement ends. Why blame the voters for not turning out when there was nothing to vote for?

Ward 1 was not contested, so the polls did not open. A write-in candidate marginally tested Ward 3, and Kevin Sutton, by far, deserves to be on the council. So, that leaves us with my ward -- Ward 2. The choice we had between Ms. Pender and Mr. Deason was like having to choose between "Ishtar" and "Porky's" for an Oscar.

The real problem, whether The Herald's editorial board wants to admit it or not, is that this city is run by the political elite of Rock Hill. The little guy (or "schmuck," as Mr. Dys puts it) no longer has a voice on this council.

Contrary to The Herald's opinion, this was not a reflection of voter satisfaction with the way the city is run. This is a reflection of an overwhelming sense that we have lost our voice and this council seeks to serve those who keep them in power. Fresh voices and ideas are not welcome. The "passing of the torch" from Mayor Echols to Ms. Pender has already begun.

Changing the "system" will not be easy. It will be costly, and someone will have to be willing to put themselves and their family up for ostracism.

So, blame the voters if you like, but give us a legitimate choice and make it easier for folks to vote by moving city elections to the real "Election Day." If this council has any integrity, it will immediately move toward changing the election cycle of city elections.

We "schmucks" want our voice to be heard.

John Davis

Rock Hill