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OUR VIEW: We need candidates to step up

The bed rock for our democracy is rooted in local governments.

While we watch the performance and metrics at the federal level to judge the health of our democracy, the citizens who give of their time and energy as local leaders in small towns and cities across America are critical to maintaining a representative government.

That’s why what is currently happening in the small Stanly County town of Red Cross is so disturbing.

Two resignations of the mayor and a councilman has left the town without a functioning government. A monthly meeting scheduled for Monday has been postponed because a quorum will not be present.

A council member called the resignations a surprise, but one of the resignations came from a person who made it clear he didn’t want to run and said he would only serve a year after winning with write-in votes.

Red Cross needs new people to step up and join the council.

It could be argued that Red Cross is simply too small to be a town. With a population of around 750 people, that’s basically a good-sized Home Owner’s Association or large church. But after being established as a town in 2002, that’s water under the bridge. Red Cross is a town and its citizens need to make sure there are enough people in local government to make sure its governing body can properly function.

Stanly County residents should watch the story of Red Cross closely over the next several weeks as local candidates file for office. There are several small towns in the county that could have the same issues if the area’s level of political apathy continues to persist.

We need people to step up and volunteer to be leaders. Without them, we have no democracy, no competition of ideas and no choices to make on election day.

Being a local politician is often an unfulfilling, thankless job with lots of work and little or no pay, but the sacrifices they make are critical to us being the county and country we are today.