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Angell did a lot for community; poor voter turnoutPosted Monday, May 9, 2011, at 2:28 PM
Sincere sympathy and prayers go out to the family of Mark Angell, who's sudden death on Sunday afternoon leaves the community with another void.
Mark, president of Angell's Food Center, was an outstanding local businessman and community supporter.
He did many "behind the scenes" things to assist local projects in a real quiet manner.
Mark was the ultimate community volunteer, who was always available ready to help when a good cause presented itself.
Mark was a tireless supporter of the Greene County Relay For Life program and on Saturday he was grilling ribeye steaks to benefit the local cancer program.
He was also an avid advocate of the Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce, the Greene County Habitat for Humanity and the various Phil Harris Golf Course programs, including the annual Greene County Shrine Club Celebrity Dinner staged every year for the guests who participated in the Friends of Phil Harris Golf Tournament and the Roy Clark and Friends Concert.
The 49-year-old Linton resident died doing what he really liked to do -- riding his bike with friends on a Sunday afternoon.
His death again reminds us all of the uncertainty of life's longevity.
He'll be missed.
Primary is now history
Well, the 2011 Municipal Primary Election is now history and we will know for sure after June 30 what the slates for the General Election on Nov. 8 will look like.
As I look back over the election, I'm not sure what it will take to get people who are registered to vote, interested enough to take the time do cast a ballot in the primary during an off-presidential year election.
Do we need to offer a Krispy Kream Donut and a cup of fresh-brewed coffee to everyone who votes?
Turnout at the two municipal elections in Linton and Jasonville was anemic at best.
Linton totaled 33 percent with 1,225 out of 3,669 registered voters. I'll admit there were no contested Republican races on the ballot, but just over one-in-three registered voters coming out to vote for a mayor was pretty sad.
Jasonville was even worse at 18 percent with 221 of 1,196 registered voters casting a ballot in the Democrat clerk-treasurer's race -- the only contested match-up on the ballot.
The vote totals showed 1,444 of 4,865 registered voters cast ballots in the two cities.
In Linton, only 1,138 voted in person at the polls with 306 absentees.
Stockton 4 Ward led the way with 43 percent with 307 of 710 registered.
On the low end in Linton, Stockton Ward 3 had just 26 percent (183 of 716 registered).
Jasonville had three voting locations, which registered 18, 17 and 19 percent voter totals.
I'm not sure what to blame the low numbers on other than a large majority of those who are eligible to vote simply don't care.
It's disrespectful to those who lost and to those who won as well. Both sides spent money on advertising and both mayoral candidates -- John Wilkes and Mike Hennette -- knocked on most of the doors in town soliciting a vote from the town's citizens.
Wilkes may have the right idea of how to deal with those who didn't bother to vote.
In jesting fashion while standing outside his victory celebration, Wilkes, said -- if elected -- he's apt to have the election poll book -- showing who came out to vote -- sitting on his desk. When someone comes into to complain about a city issue, he's going to check the poll book to see if they actually voted before giving too much credence to their complaint.
I'm not sure that actually will happen, but it's an admirable idea nonetheless.
Maybe the low voting numbers were the result of a "very clean" election for Linton mayor where there wasn't any mudslinging or controversy.
That's a credit to the two candidates, but maybe there should have been a couple of political hand grenades fired from both sides to get the race heated up and get the voters off their backsides and wanting to at least take a side.
From a budget viewpoint, in the future the county clerk's office could probably vote everyone in Linton at one location and the same in Jasonville for these kind of municipal elections.
I guess the only big question looming on the ballots for the upcoming General Election in both Linton and Jasonville is, will the Republicans put up a candidate to face-off against Wilkes, who is poised to become the city of Linton's 22nd mayor? And, will the Republicans run anyone against incumbent mayor Roy Terrell in Jasonville?
Both Wilkes and Terrell are good candidates and I'm not encouraging anyone to challenge either one of these very good guys, who are dedicated to serving their respective communities.
But in the same breath, I think contested races are much more desirable from a voter's standpoint. It makes for a healthy election to have the views of the candidates debated in open forums.
With no opposition, that's not going to happen.
And, with no opposition for the two headliner races in either city, the voter turnout numbers are not likely to be any better for the General Election than they were last Tuesday.
Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487; by e-mail at email@example.com .
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