July 06, 2013

Amateur Hour

The little town of Henning, TN,  recently held an election for mayor and aldermen. Among the candidates for mayor were the incumbent and his challenger, the wife of Ripley's police chief. The results were gob-smacking, to be sure.

First, a point of clarification: I know nothing about the politics in Henning; the players, reasons for animosity, familial relationships, etc. This is strictly an observation.

To begin, the population of Henning is less than a thousand residents. It is home to Fort Pillow State Park, West Tennessee State Penitentiary, The Alex Haley Home and Interpretive Center and is, infamously, the place where two postal employees were murdered.

The race for mayor was hotly contested. I couldn't understand why. The incumbent seemed intent on bring progress to a town which, again, from my viewpoint, exemplifies the term "urban blight." Only a fifth of the population voted. Get out of here. 200 people? More or less? Unbelievable.

The challenger, Marva Temple, owner of Puny's Kut'n Up Beauty Salon, beat the incumbent, Michael Bursey, by 111 votes--182 to 71. Mayor Temple had the whole-hearted support of the former mayor of Henning, Mary Ann Jarrett, who also writes a column, "Henning Locals," for the local newspapers. In this week's issue of The Lauderdale Voice, two-thirds of an extremely long but informative article is dedicated to the swearing in of the new administration and explains, in part, why former mayor Bursey lost so badly.

It would appear, from my viewpoint, that there was immense resentment toward Mayor Bursey moving the city offices into a vacant (six years to my knowledge)  bank building for use as the town hall. How dare he move the offices from those in use for years?  How dare he look towards the future?  But, the most egregious offense was the removal of Mayor Jarrett's name from the Water Plant Building.  How dare he? (Wrong move, Bursey. "Hell has no fury like that of a woman scorned.")

I'm sure that other factors weighed into his loss as well; however, if we are to continually succeed in the political world, we must learn to rise above petty politics, personal injustices, etc., and work together toward the common good. Revere the ancestors; build on their accomplishments;  move forward.

In the words of Nancy Pelosi, "It's silly. It's sad. It's juvenile. It's unprofessional. It's amateur hour."

Be safe. Be Blessed. 

1 comment:

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