For those who believe that nothing any one person says or does could possibly make a difference or change things, one Clayton resident proved you wrong last week.
Recently, Lovejoy Mayor Joe Murphy and his lawyers thought they found a loophole in county law which would allow him to cross district lines and run for commissioner in District 4. According to the Clayton News-Daily, Murphy took issue with the Board of Commissioners’ decision to shut down C-Tran, the two-minute limit on public comments at meetings and tending to personal agendas.
One resident filed an election challenge to Murphy’s candidacy by citing case law which proved that candidates could not live in one district and run for office in another. Thanks to that resident’s initiative, Murphy withdrew from the District 4 commission race hours before his hearing on the matter was scheduled to take place last Friday.
The Mayor, who currently resides in District 3, will now have to wait until 2012 to run against Wole Ralph if he still wishes to serve as commissioner, or relocate to District 4 and try again in a few years.
Unfortunately the majority of Clayton residents don’t seem to come out and vote. But with elections coming up this year, all residents who do want to see Clayton continue to improve and prosper are going to have to step up, really listen to what these candidates are saying (or not saying), and plan to hold them accountable if need be. In some cases, it will be better to just not open that door at all by (re-)electing them.
County commissioners need to form some type of relationship with folks who are not only their constituents, but also their neighbors. Even if a candidate were allowed to run for office in a district that he/she didn’t reside in, do you believe that person would work hard for your area if they lived somewhere else? Why or why not?