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Just when you thought the election coast was clear, a ghostly wind whips up to stir the political cauldron in my beat area of the Brunswick County woods.
Did a tricky witch drop a concoction in that strange brew, which possibly seeped its way into the local air or water supply?
It might’ve seemed that way at last week’s Oct. 23 Sunset Beach election forum, where a crowd converged on an empty, never-used (haunted?) bank building to hear what seven candidates vying for four seats in the Nov. 5 town race had to say.
Lack of apathy is definitely a good thing in the political arena.
So we forgive those unknown souls (you know who you are) who committed the public forum flub of forgetting to silence their cell phones upon entering the chamber.
As the event heated up, so did the crowd. Fortunately, most people — including all of the candidates — minded their manners and the rules most of the time.
It was kind of a long (winded) event, with seven candidates responding to five questions, plus each of their opening and closing statements. I know. I transcribed lots of notes.
As candidates responded to question No. 3, “What is your vision for our new park?” the audience got a little restless.
When it was time for current Mayor Richard Cerrato, who’s running for town council, to respond, a handful of hecklers interrupted from the back of the room, chiding him to stick to the topic.
Never mind that the candidates had each been given a minute to answer each question any way they dang well pleased. It was their minute.
The hecklers responded again when Cerrato later asked if anyone knew trees in the new town park were to be cut down.
“YES!” they yelled. “Did you?” a man in the audience shot back. “We were paying attention,” a woman added as laughter ensued. Nice.
Someone has said the average age in Sunset Beach is supposed to be around 65, but at that moment, it seemed closer to 5.
Maybe it was time for recess.
Instead of spooky, things were getting kooky. That’s sometimes the way Halloween — and the season of politics — conjures up.
Whichever side they’re on, in less than a week residents have one last chance to register their opinions, the good ol’ American red, white and blue way — at the polls.
Something tells me they’re not going to be apathetic there, either.
Laura Lewis is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.