Laurel’s elections are four and a half months away (November 1, 2011) but the election season evidently is starting in earnest. And the rumors are flying. First up: Current Mayor Craig A. Moe is running for a third term. At the Board of Trade Annual Meeting a distinguished retired Laurel figure informed out table that he had received a letter from Mayor Moe announcing that he is running for a third term. And I also at the BOT dinner that a well known (unnamed) figure was planning to run against him Is that Mike Sarich? At a meeting I attended later that evening, I was told that former councilman and administration and council nemesis Mike Sarich is also planning a run for mayor.
At this point I’m just reporting what's out on the street. But it suggests it will be an interesting election season to say the least. Like all council members, newly appointed council member, Valerie M.F Nicholas will have to defend her seat, and I believe at least one other current member is not planning to run again. Elections will be by district for the first time in a long long time, and there will be two polling places, finally. Let’s hope all the races are contested, since lively races not only generate discussion of important issues, but may increase the incredibly dismal turnout at Laurel’s local elections. (which we'll discuss another time)
Laurel’s mayoral system is a very strong one – and the mayor determines the City Administrator, appoints all the key staff, determine the makeup of boards from planning to the historic district commission, creates the budget and sets the city’s development priorities. The Mayor and Council are responsible for your local taxes, and the types of businesses that get approved for entry into the city. Who they are, their priorities and vision count. Taking an interest is not only our civic duty, but it should be a critical matter for all of us.So even though it’s early – mark your calendar for November 1. And let the games begin