Your town, your vote

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

All politics are local. It’s an old saying, but very true. Next Tuesday, residents of the 19 Brunswick County municipalities will have their opportunity to cast their votes for who will lead their communities.

The people throwing their hats in the ring do so for various reasons. Hopefully by now, you have had a chance to meet candidates in your community and find out their thoughts on issues important to you. If not, you still have a little time remaining.

We at The Beacon are proud to have partnered with The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, Sunset Properties and ATMC TV to bring candidate forums to four of our communities: Carolina Shores, Sunset Beach, Calabash and Shallotte.

These four events were recorded and are airing on ATMC TV channel 3.

The Holden Beach Property Owners Association also hosted a candidates’ night for Holden Beach residents.

Our Web site has a wealth of information for people preparing to vote on Nov. 3. We sent out questionnaires to all candidates running in municipal races across the county. Their responses and profiles (if they returned them) are posted at www.brunswickbeacon.com under the tab “Elections.”

Take the time to find out more about these candidates and their thoughts on issues of importance to you and your community.

Every voter has a list of expectations for their elected officials. Here are some of ours:

Know the law and follow the law as it applies specifically to open meetings and open records. The citizens pay the bills and they are guaranteed access under the law.

Be transparent. This is a catchphrase, and it is overused in political rhetoric and under-utilized in actual government. We want our elected officials to say what they think and be prepared to back it up. Don’t give us political correctness. Don’t hide; tell us the truth.

Be accessible to citizens. When you put your name on the ballot, you gave up not answering the phone, not answering e-mails and staying away from your constituents.

Be accountable. Don’t pass the buck. If you don’t have the answers, find them. Make informed decisions and then stand by them. If you make a mistake, admit it and work to find a solution.

Be fiscally responsible. These are tough times for all towns in Brunswick County and elected officials should be focused on providing necessary services and finding ways to operate as efficiently as possible. This should be the case regardless of our current economy.

Always think about the future. Even with the last point in mind, we live in an area that will continue to be a destination. As you look at the current state of affairs, always remember growth will continue.

Tuesday is your day. Cast your vote.