Submitted by the Out-of-Towner
Abbeville deserves better, not good enough.
As we approach the Mayoral election, I hope we do so with careful consideration. I love Abbeville. As an out-of-towner coming from a large suburban area, Abbeville took some “getting used to,” but that “getting used to” developed into a love and fondness for the area that can’t be shaken.
During my time of “getting used to” Abbeville, I’ve heard a lot of dismissal from our residents. These dismissive statements have included:
“Well, it’s Abbeville. What do you expect?”
“People don’t like change.”
“Yeah, Abbeville is stuck in the past.”
“It’s Abbeville, that’s good enough.”
“It’s good enough for Abbeville.”
Would you let someone talk about your kids that way? Would you let someone talk about your family or even your beloved family pet that way?
We are the home of a former Vice President, we are surrounded by 512 square miles of natural beauty, and we have the cutest main street in the U.S.A.
Abbeville deserves better than good enough. Abbeville deserves BETTER. In order to achieve better, we MUST elect better officials. We need a leader who will do just that: LEAD.
Showing up to the proverbial game seven minutes after kick-off is not leading. Waiting 3.75 years to offer support for the city and its small businesses IS NOT leadership. Showing up in fatigues at a last minute Christmas parade effort IS NOT leadership.
Likewise, leadership is not starting a small business only to bail under the cover of night. Leadership is not starting bar fights. Leadership is not chauvinism. Leadership is not showing up as a member of the “Good ol’ Boys Club.”
Leadership requires more than a social media post and wearing a festive suit. Leadership is not waiting three days to return a phone call.
Leadership cannot be dressed up or manufactured. Leadership must be demonstrated.
If Abbeville is going to succeed, it must honor its legacy. As a resident said this week, “Our history isn’t paying our bills.” History isn’t honored by fear of change. History is honored by standing on the legacy set before us and making innovative changes for our future.
When you consider a Mayoral Elect, look for a leader who has DEMONSTRATED, not just spoken of, the following qualities:
• Vision. Abbeville suffers from leadership without vision. Which candidate has written vision and acted on their vision for the future? Not just their political and civic vision, but which candidate has demonstrated clear intention for each step of his life? If Abbeville is to compete with other small towns for tourism dollars and business development dollars, we need a leader with a clear vision for the future.
• Accountability. Our next Mayor should hold City Council and City Administration accountable for their actions. At present, it takes about seven days to gain a response via e-mail from City Administration. We deserve a leader who will hold this type of behavior accountable. We deserve a leader who will proofread proposed legislation before it reaches City Council instead of hurriedly passing legislation that doesn’t have Abbeville’s best interests at heart.
• Integrity. As a new Mayor is elected, wouldn’t it be nice if the seat was filled by someone who walks in integrity? When you look at the swamp in Washington, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and think, “How did it get that bad?”
It got that bad because citizens elected people whose main job qualification was “my buddy” at the beginning of the process. The way to weed out corrupt officials is not to elect them in the first place. Abbeville deserves a leader who will show up without any dirty laundry.
• Honor. Abbeville deserves a candidate who thinks, BETTER or BEST, is worthy of Abbeville’s Vote. Not just, “well, its good enough for Abbeville.” Abbeville needs a Mayor who walks in honor with their lifestyle. A leader who will honor the citizens of Abbeville, a leader who will Honor the role of Mayor, and a leader who will honor our history by creating solutions for our future.
Abbeville, this election is vital for the next generation of residents who want to continue to call this hallowed ground home. While there is only ONE candidate who meets this description, the choice is yours.
Will you continue to settle for, “Good enough for Abbeville,” or will you vote for “the best Abbeville can be”?
Hoping for the future,
-The Out of Towner