Last night, the Walker County Republican Party adopted a resolution to place on the 2016 Republican primary ballot a non-binding referendum question on what form of county government Walker County should have: a sole commission as it is currently, or a multi-member commission board. I was not in attendance due to personal reasons, but I saw the news on Facebook and a blurb from WDEF (the local CBS affiliate). It seems the anti-incumbent crowd is hailing it as a major victory.
The sole commission vs. multi-member board came to a head in 2011 when a challenger to incumbent Commissioner Bebe Heiskell drew an opponent in the 2012 Republican primary. She won by a 200-vote margin, but drew a write-in candidate challenger in the general election.
The anti-incumbent crowd actually had a prime opportunity during the 2013-2015 term of the Republican Party as one of their own won the county chairmanship in 2013, resigned early in 2014, and the Walker County TEA Party leader was elected GOP chairman in early 2014. No questions were put on the ballot in 2014, so I’m not sure if there was a lack of awareness or focus during the changing of chairmen. For the record, we received no proposals for ballot questions in 2012 after soliciting the membership while I was chairman of our county GOP.
Those in opposition have made the issue into a personal vendetta against the incumbent and have preached over the past 4 years on how changing our form of government will cure all of our county’s ills. Call me skeptical, but I will be listening to the arguments for and against and will keep an open mind before I cast my ballot.
As a former co-worker and good friend of mine said to me: “Be careful for what you wish for, you may just get it.”