Editorial: Competition can foster excellence

Feb. 08, 2014 @ 11:54 PM

Unhappy with the position of the county? What about the judicial process, prosecuting the worst of the worst?

Maybe the status of the respective local school system in the Tri-County area has caused the muttering and grumbling.

Or perhaps, there’s no complaining about any of them. They’re all doing just fine.

Given the evidence, there are some¬ — and maybe many ¬— among us dissatisfied. We believe there is great reason for hope when the election filing period opens Monday at noon. County commissioners, school board and judicial offices, including the district attorney for our area, will be on this year’s ballot.

The primaries are in the spring, and the general election in the fall. This is known as the midterms, the halfway point between the annual four-year presidential cycle.

We have reason for hope because we believe in competition fostering excellence. It is not a guarantee. But we as a community are at fault and deserving of blame if leadership we deem unsatisfactory is not challenged.

In Vance County, for example, there are many upset with a water project that has been long in the making. We’ve applauded the project and continue to do so. But for those not happy with it, or the process, this filing period is an opportunity. Run for office, or rally to a candidate.

Those accepting such responsibility, even if not elected, draw our respect. They want to make a difference.

Or consider the Vance County Schools. Use of its facilities, in the face of declining student population and tight budget restraints, should be up for debate. Graduation rates have meandered among the poorest in the state for a decade. More than 2,000 students in the last eight years didn’t graduate in four years.

If the community feels all is acceptable, then the current school board shouldn’t be challenged. None of the school board seats had competition two years ago.

And do keep in mind, those filing for re-election should be welcoming and embracing challengers. We all want what is best for our communities, and that means we need excellence in elected representation.

It is our belief that can best be achieved through participation in the process, through competition for these very important elected offices.