What can unite us or divide us can and will come in all shapes and sizes at any moment, on any day.
So what is it about small town elections that seem to bring out the best and the worst?
I know its hard for some to believe, but it is true that I have never looked at the election forum on Action News17. I made a choice (a good one) not to enter into the fray even though there were many well-meaning people, that seem to take it upon themselves to keep me updated on the banter.
I was glad when the forum was eliminated, not only because of the accusations, insults and innuendoes, but also because I believe that people should be held accountable for what they say and not be given a stage from which to shout whatever the dream up without being responsible for their words.
The election is over, the political signs are gone and we who wish to revel in victory can do so. And those who wish to complain are left with regret.
Whatever your position, no matter what you think or say, we are all connected. We are a community. A small town with diverse cultures and concerns.
To talk about divisions without provocation is in itself a divider. Who are these dividers? What are these divisions? Do they really exist, or are they the words of those who want divisions in order to create unrest?
When I was young and hard times came, my dad would say: “You can talk yourself into a recession.” I think the same applies to differences. We can talk about differences until they become real, even if they do not exist.
What can divide a community now are the same issues that have been dividing, separating and alienating forever. A difference of opinion, lack of understanding, intolerance, unaccountability, irresponsibility, dishonesty. From the simplest, everyday actions to the “big stuff”--some will always take issue and usually think they are right.
Small town elections can be the biggest offenders of separating communities or they can be the catalyst for bringing together those who take interest in city government and these elections.
There is a balance between community and government that can be hard to reach and even harder to maintain and certainly we all know the impossibility of making all decisions acceptable to everyone.
What I do know is that Michael Ragusa was elected Mayor of the Town of Independence because 473 voters believe that he had done a good job in the past four years. A good job being his only goal and he will continue to do so.
If this is what we are expecting and hoping for in our mayor, then we’re in luck, because his resolve and commitment is unfailing.
I’m glad the campaign and the election is over and the final say has been said. I thank all who have encouraged us and supported us. The task for all of us continues.
Please join us for the inauguration of Mayor Ragusa, our Board of Aldermen and Chief of Police at our 4th of July celebration on July 4, 2 to 9 p.m. in Historic downtown Independence with music, food, water slides, fireworks.
Gail S. Ragusa