Voting is true sign of caring about Vicksburg’s future

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tuesday, June 6, is the 73rd anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, commonly known as “D-Day.”

It is also the date of the city’s general election for municipal offices and a referendum on the proposed 2 percent tax on hotel room rentals and food and beverage sales to finance the sports complex.

In a way, this is our D-Day. What happens June 6 could help determine the city’s future, not only for the next four years, but beyond. That’s why it’s so important for people to get out, go to the polls and cast their ballots in three city races and the referendum.

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The voter turnout for the May 2 Democratic primary was 24 percent. That’s a disgrace. Some people blamed the poor turnout on the lack of competitive races, pointing out there was no Republican primary and there was South Ward Aldermen Willis Thompson, a Democrat, who was unopposed, creating a lack of interest in the race. Those are poor excuses for not taking the time to go by the polls and vote.

June 6, however, is a different story. The mayor’s race has three candidates. The incumbent North and South Ward candidates are opposed for re-election. Each race has pretty good candidates.

And there is the referendum, which could have a bigger effect on Vicksburg and Warren County than the elections for city officials. For years, people have complained about the lack of recreation facilities and for worthwhile activities for youth. Some people have pointed to other communities, saying, “Look what they have, why can’t we have that.” Here’s the opportunity to “have that.”

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen have developed a plan for a sports complex that will provide recreational opportunities for youth and provide and economic development tool that can attract people to our city where they can enjoy the other attractions we offer like the Vicksburg National Military Park.

This coming election, more than ever, is about our future, and people need to learn about the candidates and then come out to vote.

Vicksburg residents have often been commended for their civic pride and concern about their community, but a 24 percent voter turnout belittles that reputation.

And a similar or less turnout June 6 will raise questions whether the residents care about their city and its future.