Change Is Not A 4-Letter Word

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Change is in the air, first with our season preparing to turn to fall, but hopefully and even more importantly, the structure of our city council. This year, we the voters have an opportunity to change the structure of who sits on our city council. This is one of the most critical election years that l can remember and it is so important that we as citizens work to facilitate change and move our city forward. 

I have heard citizens say we need "new blood" as our leaders, and l agree 100 percent. This is the time for all of the citizens of East Ridge to take action and vote to make this a reality. We have an opportunity to get three new council members and a new mayor. For that to happen, it will require everyone to take a deep breath and remember that change is a good thing and not resist the the urge to stay in the past. We are almost two decades into the 21st century, change is needed. We have had multiple opportunities to grow, and l am afraid this will be one of our last golden opportunities to move forward.  

The election campaigns will be ramping up in a few days, people are going to make promises, some are going to throw mud and spread inaccurate information and expect many of our citizens to fall for their smoke and mirrors. We as citizens should hold every one of them to the highest standard, not vote for them because they have served before or that they are a fixture of the East Ridge "good old boys". New blood refers to a transfusion in medical terms, and East Ridge is in dire need of a transfusion at this point in time. 

It's time for some of our citizens to pass the baton to another generation. Have faith that the new leaders will listen to those that know what has worked, and what hasn't worked. It is time for all of us to become involved, to ask questions if we don't know, to share our ideas regardless of how trivial someone thinks they may be. The only dumb question in life is the one you don't ask, and the only time you are truly learning is when you are listening. Listen to all the candidates, especially the new faces in the race. Ask them questions, if they don't know the answer, see if they find it for you. There is no shame in not knowing, the credibility comes in getting the answer for you, in a timely manner. 

Over my years of being here, the most remarkable aspect of this city is the convenience and the people. I have seen life come back to this city this year, and it is an amazing experience. The citizens found their voice again, they banded together and said its time for a change. Now if everyone will Google the definition of change, l myself can see where both the noun and verb definition both work for what we need to accomplish during this election. Go to the meet and greets, listen to what they have to say, don't accept them passing you a brochure or slipping you a business card, and if they start belittling the other candidates, walk away, even better, run away.

You have the power of the pen this year, check that box carefully and for those people that will make change happen. Step out of your comfort zone and exercise one of your greatest rights as an American citizen - vote. See you at the polls!

By the way, in this instance "change" is a four letter word: V O T E.

Earl Wilson

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