February 26, 2014

Qualifying is the first step to serving others

— Former U.S. House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill once said “All politics is local.”

We aren’t sure that is true. But we are certain that local politics is the place where the average citizen can make the greatest difference.

Races are decided by thousands, not hundreds of thousands or even millions, of votes. That makes it possible for candidates to actually get out and meet and talk with a substantial share of the people who’ll be voting. It also means they don’t have to raise and spend vast sums of money to run a campaign.

And if the issues county commissioners and school board members deal with don’t seem as weighty as the issues members of Congress deal with, they may have a greater impact on citizens. Are our roads maintained? Do our children acquire an education that prepares them to be good citizens and productive members of society? Are zoning laws too tight or too lenient? All of those questions are answered primarily or exclusively at the local level.

On May 20, voters will go to the polls in the state’s general primaries, and several local races in both Whitfield and Murray counties will be contested.

In Whitfield County, Board of Commissioners Districts 1 and 3 will be contested this year. Gordon Morehouse, who currently holds the District 1 seat, and Robby Staten, who currently holds the District 3 seat, have both said they will not seek re-election this year.

On the Whitfield County Board of Education, the District 2 seat, the District 4 seat and the at-large seat are up for election.

In Murray County, Board of Education seats for Districts 5, 6 and 7 will be contested. The nonpartisan post of chief magistrate judge will also be contested.

Qualifying for those races takes place next week. If you have an interest in local government, if you think you could make a difference in one of those posts, this is your chance to convince voters you could serve them well.

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  • Tax holiday weekend is perfect time to shop

    August means children across the state are headed back to school, and for parents that means it’s time to buy new shoes and clothes for children who have outgrown their old ones. It means it’s time to buy new school supplies, and it may even mean it’s time to get a child a new computer to do their school work.

    July 30, 2014

  • "We’ve had a great ride"

    For 60 years, the Green Spot has been a part of Dalton. It survived long after most other locally owned grocery stores in the area had folded to competition from big chain grocery stores and to big box super stores.

    July 29, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Traveler from a district in Columbia?

    Jim Gray was traveling out of Orlando International Airport when a Transportation Security Administration officer tried to stop him from boarding his plane.

    July 29, 2014

  • Letter: Children are not the enemy

    We recently read somewhere that our country is at war, not with another nation but with one another.

    July 29, 2014

  • Ensuring the joy of reading

    They’re little, they’re libraries, and best of all, they’re free.

    July 28, 2014

  • Move carefully, but soon

    No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
    But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.

    July 27, 2014

  • Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure

    No word. No warning. Little help.
    That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014