By John Peters

July 14, 2013

To the Editor,

Most of you who see this letter already know the information shown below but there are many who may not realize a city election is coming up this November. Please feel free to pass this around to your friends.

Three seats on our city board will be voted upon this November. The Mayor, Commissioner Jon Cawley (North Ward), and Commissioner Steve Yokeley (South Ward) are all running for re-election.

-The filing period for anyone who wants to run for city office started on 7/5 and ends 7/19. The three incumbents listed above already filed on 7/5.

-Most any citizen can become a candidate by going to Board of Elections office in Dobson, filing out some papers, and paying a fee (I think it is $10).

-The city has only two wards; North and South (The dividing line is close to Lebanon St.) a candidate must live in the ward he runs in, but all city citizens vote for all candidates.

-The regular schedule calls for two board meeting per month; first and third Thursday’s (some are skipped like the one this month and usually one in December).

-Running for city office does not require an expensive campaign. Board of election records show almost all past candidates have run on surprisingly small amounts, much of which comes from donations. Friends and supporters are sure to volunteer to help. Local newspaper and radio provide good free coverage and there are usually a couple of candidate forums which also are free. Candidates often are guests at civic clubs and that provides additional free publicity.

-There are people in town you may not even know yet who will help a good common sense candidate.

-I don’t think our city elected officials are doing it for the money, but the recent newspaper article shows commissioners have a salary of $10,380 per year ($865 per month) and can participate in the city benefits like group health, dental, vision, and life insurance. Family members can participate as well. Officials are also repaid for expenses, so there is pretty decent compensation for the time spent.

We have many well qualified citizens who could provide valuable guidance to our city. A number of them may have considered serving on the board at one time or other and now could well be one of those times.

John Pritchard

Mount Airy