Two years ago, Muir Boda faced off against Debbie Campbell in a two-way District 2 race and lost by a 65-35 margin. But I was impressed by the Libertarian afterward and hoped he’d consider a 2011 run – well, it looks like he’s in.
The City of Salisbury stands at a crossroads in her rich and storied history. There are tough choices that lie ahead and they need to be made now. Continually putting off issues has brought us to this point, where gangs are controlling our streets, businesses refuse to come to Salisbury and personality issues hang over us like a dark cloud.
On one hand we can continue down the path we have been steadily going for years. Economic stagnation, rising crime rates, gang problems and an assault on property rights which is fueled by name calling, personal vendettas and an outright refusal of elected officials willing to address the issues that this city faces. We have alienated the business community, neighborhoods and our law enforcement community. Leadership and responsibility have been sucked up into the black hole of gridlock, making our government ineffective on major issues.
On the other hand we have a choice of electing leaders who are willing to put aside personal differences and egos to help move our city forward. We need leaders to reach out to our disenfranchised neighborhoods, embrace our business community and encourage everyone to join together and resist the gang violence and crime that is destroying our city.
I believe a three pronged approach to reducing crime is needed from a City standpoint. Strengthening economic opportunity, providing law enforcement with the tools they need to succeed and challenging our faith based community to step up and support our civic organizations in reaching out to those who need and are crying for help. All of these are intertwined and cannot fully succeed without the other.
The economic situation we face is dire and we need to make changes now. We need to create an environment that is conducive to business and it begins with a welcoming attitude. We need to approach our business community with an attitude of – what can we do for you? One way I believe we can help businesses, is by creating a streamlined process into one office for purposes of doing business in the city. This will reduce confusion and set clear expectations and fix a process that currently drives business away.
There are many more issues that we face and I believe they should be approached with common sense, integrity and a servant’s heart. Public servants are just that, servants. Not Lords or masters, they are here to serve the citizens, taxpayers and all who enter into our boundaries for peaceful purposes.
We have much work to do and I believe it is our duty to pass on this great city better than we received her. We are obligated to make her stronger, safer and more beautiful for the generations to come after us. Leaving her deep in debt, rundown from violence and with less opportunity is not only wrong but I believe immoral.
Join me as we work to restore dignity and pride in Salisbury. We must return civility to our debates and respect to the council chamber. That is where we must begin, that is where I intend to begin.
This should be an interesting race for Boda because the dynamics are completely different. In 2009 he was running against a popular incumbent in a vast district. (District 2 actually comprises roughly 80% of Salisbury since District 1 is drawn as a single-Councilperson, majority-minority district. The other four Council members all represent District 2. Yes, I shook my head too.)
But this time we’ll have a 8- or 10-candidate scrum, with the top 6 from the March 1 primary advancing to a general election on April 5. The top three vote-getters will be sworn in later in April.
While none of the three incumbents have announced their intentions yet, it’s presumed that Terry Cohen will seek re-election. At one point, I believed Louise Smith was planning on just one term but she may have changed her mind since; meanwhile, Gary Comegys has missed some time over the last year with a serious illness so he may opt not to run again.
Having just concluded one election cycle four weeks ago, there could be a little bit of burnout from the turnaround. But for Salisbury voters this will be the last time for the foreseeable future we’ll have to deal with local elections right after state elections – terms for the 2011 winners don’t expire until November 2015. 2013 will be the last spring election.
So Muir Boda will be out in familiar territory once again. It’s beginning to look a lot like a campaign.