Dart the increased involvement of partisan politics in the Salisbury municipal elections.
It started with parties explicitly supporting or soliciting volunteers for candidates and grew from there, with local political parties issuing repeated public endorsements and promotions for candidates. Parties now organize forums specifically for their candidates.
The closer Salisbury gets to an explicit partisan contest, the more local races will reflect conflicting national elections, where rhetoric marks people of different beliefs as enemies. Voters who might be persuasive will use party affiliation as a way to learn more about a candidate’s positions.
Another problem is that there is no Republican or Democratic way to manage the cogs of government – pass a balanced budget, zoning issues and pave the streets between them.
A thin veil of separation is better than direct ties to partisanship in local elections. The different ideas of the candidates on how to run the bases of government may exist outside the structure of political parties. Candidates can also challenge those in power and raise difficult questions about existing practices without political parties. Unknown candidates may receive support from people who make up a political party without explicit overtures. Citizen groups can lend their support without the Democrat and Republican labels.
This is similar to why party affiliation is better to exclude court races. Rowan County judges are elected to hear the facts of a case and deliver a verdict or sentence based on the law, not their political beliefs.
Continuing to inject party politics into municipal elections will make local politics too similar to that of Washington, DC. This is not a good thing.
Unfortunately, there is probably no turning back now.
Laurel to new ideas about old buildings.
After being vacated by Wells Fargo in 2019, the old bank building at the corner of South Main and Fisher streets was nearly empty, with only a few office tenants. But Greg Alcorn, who bought the building, and Gianni Moscardini, owner of La Cava and chairman of the board of directors of Downtown Salisbury Inc., had a new idea: a cooperative market on the first floor.
There could be a butcher and a seafood store. How about a small grocery store with fresh produce too? These could be welcome additions to downtown. Other downtown businesses might not be too excited about a deli or a wine and beer store.
Stocking downtown storefronts can be difficult when online shopping has changed consumers’ spending habits. New working from home practices are making it more difficult than usual to recruit employers in need of traditional office space. Still, there are good ideas floating around about the Wells Fargo building.
Laurel to the Salisbury High School Hornets for keeping the football competition rolling.
Just months after winning a state championship, the Hornets appear to be serious contenders for a repeat. This is made possible by some of its best-known players, including Jalon Walker, JyMikaah Wells, Mike Geter, Nick Hall and Deuce Walker, but there are other important starters and players who have played a vital role in the victories of the ‘team.
Before this year’s seniors graduate and the season ends, do yourself a favor and see the magnificent Salisbury Hornets play in person. They will face North Rowan at home on October 29 in a clash between two good local teams. And the Hornets will be back at Ludwig Stadium for the playoff competition.