To the editor:
As former editor and publisher of the Monroe Monitor, I learned over more than 20 years to see patterns in local politics. I see a familiar one in the current races for city council and mayor. You can see it too, in the way yard signs are bunched together around town. Those that are clustered around one candidate or another tell the tale. The candidates all drink from the same well. The ones that you see solo in yards are individuals representing their own values. The grouped ones typically reveal that these candidates are sharing a brain.
We have seen it all before and it does not bode well for the community when groups of like-minded people band together to dominate local government and control city hall. They usually have an agenda that is pointed at aggrandizing themselves in some way–whether it be having influence over zoning that favors certain property or simply as a means to wield power so as to keep it out of the hands of those who do not share their philosophy.
You really need to pay attention to this because otherwise you will get the government you deserve.
While it might appear to be altruistic for a citizen to take his turn serving the public by running for council or mayor, make sure you know the connections. Beware the blandishments of mailers where candidates always have their best foot forward but you have no way to challenge assertions made by them. This goes for the good guys and the bad guys. In my experience, those with hidden agendas have become very good at sending out a polished message to the voters to convince them of their sincerity. Once in office, their real interests are revealed.
In this election cycle, I like Geoffrey Thomas as a future mayor of Monroe. I have met him only on the phone. He is not a personal friend of mine. But I believe he is an honest and forthright man whose previous service to the community underscores his character and trustworthiness.