Voter turn out low for unopposed candidates


First Posted: 11/3/2009

PILOT MOUNTAIN Two seats on the Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners were on the ballot for yesterdays election, but neither were facing opposition. Only about 49 votes were cast in the election for positions held by long-time Commissioner Carolyn Boyles and appointed Commissioner Andrew French, according to the unofficial results by the Surry County Board of Elections.
Boyles said she went to vote around 5:20 p.m. and only 40 people had come to cast their votes.
Four years ago, Boyles had announced that she wouldnt be running for re-election, but then had a change of heart during the filing period and ran successfully for the seat.
Boyles said she is looking forward to serving the people of Pilot Mountain during her next term.
I look forward to working with this board because we have developed an excellent working rapport. We have a number of positive things going on right now and hope to see those up and running in the next several months. For example, the Surry Community College learning annex at the Pilot Center and the Ag Center and the other things that are going to come together in that building, said Boyles.
She has always seen her role on the board as a way to serve the people of Pilot Mountain.
You cant serve the people and have a hidden agenda. I have always tried to put the people first. Ive never had any personal reason for running. You cant serve the people if you have a hidden agenda.
Boyles is in her 18th year on the board of commissioners. She was appointed just less than two years into a four-year term held by then-Commissioner Melvin Lambe, who was appointed to the mayors post. Then she was re-elected to four more four-year terms following her appointed.
French was appointed last year to fill a commissioners seat previously held by now-Mayor Earl Sheppard, who was elected to the mayors post two years into his first term on the board.
He said he sees his position as commissioner as a community service role. It doesnt matter what capacity I serve in as long as I serve my community, French said earlier this year when still deciding whether he would run for office.
This was Frenchs first election. He was excited for the continued support of the town.
Its a good group of people to work with. We are open and honest. We respect each others opinion. It shows in the (boards) voting. The board works very hard to obtain a consensus before we vote. Its an exciting time. Youve got the Pilot Center going up, they are starting construction in the next week. Youve got the ABC building issue resolved, half are excited half are not. This is a great time to be serving the citizens of Pilot Mountain, French said after the results were in last night.
French said he has been pleased that the current board is working together to put aside personal preferences and let the democratic process work as it is designed to, such as in the case of the liquor-by-the-drink referendum when commissioners who didnt necessarily support the concept wanted to leave the final decision up to the voters via the referendum.
Two write-in votes were cast, according to officials at the Surry County Board of Elections.

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