Of Elections And Social Media
By N3 Editorial Staff
Undersheriff Brian Boyd resigned, a move that caught everyone off guard with the exception of those who have indicated off the record their knowledge of what motivated his decision to leave a job he clearly loved after 27 years of public service.
Not even a week later and Lieutenant Chad Palmiter is suspended and a statement is released indicating the possibility of ‘a violation of election laws and department policies’ though without specifics as to what laws and policies and how they may have been breached.
Coincidentally, or perhaps not, it is an election year. An election year with a hotly contested race for Sheriff as White Cloud and...
...Grant Police Chief Bob Mendham’s hat lays alongside that of Sheriff Pat Hedlund’s in the ring of candidates for the county’s top badge.
Facebook is on fire locally about the recent doings with speculation, accusation, and conjecture ruling the pages while supporters and detractors from both sides stake their claims and make their points to the not so silent majority of users who frequent social media.
And as it so often goes there are those who are quick to point out on social media that there should be no surprise since ‘It is after all Newaygo County’, or ‘everyone knows they are all corrupt’. While perhaps an exercise in the expression of frustration and anger for past encounters or merely the signs of a simmering cynicism these statements do little to either enlighten or encourage meaningful dialogue.
Finding the truth in such matters can be an elusive endeavor at times. We live in an era where rationalization can often put a little bend in what might be the factual story. A time when accountability is often spoken of in glowing terms but in reality more often than not remains clouded by self-justification. The story itself might possess so many aspects and add-ons that it can end up reminding one of a bill being considered by Congress with such a multitude of riders and provisions and other debris unrelated to the subject matter tossed in that one can forget what the overall concern might have been in the first place.
The challenge is to sort out not just the facts since there are often many interpretations of those facts, but how the information dispensed relates to the larger picture. Like it or not we live in a time where the pursuit of political office at nearly every level can be a contest of who can survive the overt and more importantly covert attempts at discrediting done by one’s opponents and/or their sometimes misguided allies.
Near North Now strives to bring our readership an accurate picture of the events in our county and as we roll toward the August 2nd primary, the election that will for all practical purposes decide who will be in charge of law enforcement in our community for the next 4 years, we are committed to trying to give our readers an unbiased look at the candidates.
In that vein we plan to submit a series of questions to each of the candidates gleaned from community members. Questions that aspire to give voters a bit more clarity for when they enter the booth (or rather cubicle these days). Between now and then we will listen to the feedback we get from others and certainly share the views from folks willing to speak on the record so long as they fall far short of being offensive or attacking.
We encourage you to share your viewpoints on our pages. Check out The Pulse section and submit your comments or letters to the editor.
And most importantly of all?
If you are not registered you have until July 5th to do so for the August 2nd primary.
Know you will be out of town? Get an absentee ballot. Don’t know where you vote or how to get your hands on an absentee ballot? Call the Newaygo County Clerk’s office and the kind folks who staff that office will give you all the information you need.
But please vote informed. Instead of feasting on the frenzy surrounding the national race (admittedly an enticing slice of the most bizarre form of reality TV) learn about the candidates for each of the local offices that are up for grabs. Talk to them and ask questions. Try to find out just who the folks wishing to represent you are and perhaps why they so willfully desire to serve you in public office. See if you can get to know the person whose name you will be putting your mark next to come August.
So get ready folks. It’s sure to be a long and lingering 8 weeks of signs, flyers, phone calls and, of course, those always entertaining if not exactly teeming with accuracy……. facebook posts.
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