By: Steve Trubilla
Filing for the Franklin County 2017 Municipal Election starts on Friday, July 7, at noon and ends Friday, July 21, at noon. The only place candidates can file for this election is the Franklin County Board of Elections office, located on 107 Industrial Drive, Louisburg.
For more information, you can contact the Board of Elections office at (919) 496-3898.
Often it is said all elections are local. At one time this was more true. Then, most people were not as mobile or transit, tending to stay within miles of where they had grown up. The same was true of those elected to office.
By design, it best served the interest of most people. Of course when power and money are involved, corruption will always be present. The potential for this is considerably lessened by people knowing each other.
On the national or even state level, it is a much greater challenge, if not one of impossibility.
Literally, billions of dollars are spent to sell you, a considerable amount which flows internationally.
To get a measure of it, consider over $35 million was spent on our 2016 gubernatorial election; millions contributed from outside of North Carolina.
Whose interest do you think was served by that money, and what did it buy? The truth is you will never know.
The closer people and officials are to each other the better everyone is served. This said, it can also hold a downside if one is not very careful.
Reminds me of a story I think you may enjoy.
In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"
She responded, "Why, yes. I've known you since you were a little boy, and frankly you've been a big disappointment to me.
"You lie, cheat on your wife, manipulate people, and talk behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher, so, in short, yes. Yes, I know you."
The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?" She replied, "Why yes I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and has a drinking problem.
"He can't build a normal relationship with anyone. His law practice is one of the worst in the state.
"Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women, one of them was your wife! Yes, I know him." The defense attorney nearly died.
The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench. When they did, he leaned over and in a quiet voice said, "If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair!"
Wouldn't you love to be in the courtroom for something like this? Maybe you have some stories you could tell about "the important people."
Of course we all know a lawyer would run out of his pants shutting someone up with objections if they were to expose him/her in such a way.
The veracity of this story is questionable. It appeared in a self-published collection of jokes and anecdotes by British author Charlie Walker in 2000.
Still, it is a great story, bringing my point nicely home.
There are a lot of places, people, and moving parts, even to a countywide municipal election.
It would be hard to do this election justice in just one article.
I decided to do a little unscientific survey in the town of Youngsville to see if local people knew who their elected officials are. Randomly I selected 25 people, asking them if they knew who the mayor or town commissioners were. I could not be sure if they actually lived in the town of Youngsville, but did ask, and located myself in places with a reasonable amount of confidence that they did.
I am considering future articles with varied questions on other municipalities in Franklin County.
Here is the current list based on the town website, and the survey results.
Fonzie Flowers, elected 2013, 4-year term, seven said they knew him, 18 said they never heard of him.
Terry D. Hedlund, elected 2013, 4-year term, five said they knew him, 20 said they never heard of him.
Joseph E. Johnson, elected 2015, 4-year term, three said they knew him, 22 said they never heard of him.
Cat Redd, elected 2013, 4-year term, 11 said they knew her, 14 said they never heard of her.
Graham Stallings, elected 2015, 4-year term, six said they knew him, 19 said they never heard of him.
Larry Wiggins, elected 2013, 4-year term, five said they knew him, 20 said they never heard of him.
If asked, would you know your elected officials, and or other prominent people in the community?
Or, would you say, "Oh yes, I know a few of them alright, you bet I do."
Note: The Franklin County Republican Party, (919) 414-8277, meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month, unless otherwise announced, at 101 Nash Street Louisburg.