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It's time to vote again

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By Jim Clark

Somewhere in the past, someone in Florida decided not to hold city elections on Election Day. So here we are, just a few weeks after the presidential primary election, ready to hold a city election next Tuesday.

There are a couple of issues on the ballot. One has to do with economic growth, which would allow tax exemptions to entice businesses to move here.

It's a necessary evil, given the competitive climate throughout the state of communities that want the jobs that go with new industry and/or business.

The other issue has to do with increasing the terms of the City Council members and the mayor from two to three years. The first reaction by most people is usually negative, since they want the right to vote the commissioners out as often as possible.

Yet if you look at the records, incumbents rarely lose, so this argument doesn't have a whole lot of value.

An extra year would give members more of a chance to be a council member instead of worrying about re-election. One only needs to look at Congress to see how the two-year term affects the behavior of our Washington reps. Almost from the moment they take office, they're campaigning for their next term. And again, incumbents rarely lose.

The race for one council seat will go to the voters.

The two candidates answered questions in last week's paper, and both are accessible to voters in the community. That's why we don't even try to "endorse" candidates or tell you who to vote for. The only time we would do that is if there is a compelling reason why one or the other shouldn't be elected.

So make up your own mind and head for City Hall on Tuesday to vote. But remember, you have to be a city resident to vote. And if you don't vote, don't complain about the decisions later on.

LOTS OF ACCIDENTS: Maybe my memory is short, or maybe the Highway Patrol is being more free with information, but it just seems to me that we're hearing about a lot more accidents in the area.

Recently two young men were injured in CR337 south of Bronson, there was a bad wreck on 222 involving a motorcycle in western Gainesville, and in Marion County, not too far from the Levy County line, a man was killed when he failed to negotiate a curve because he was lighting his pipe.

People need to concentrate more on their driving and less on the peripherals. Too many folks are talking madly on their cell phones and not paying attention ... I saw one run a red light, completely oblivious to the fact that it was even there.

So let's all make a concerted effort to be careful. And whatever you do, watch out for the other guy.

Jim Clark is the editor of the Williston Pioneer Sun News. He can be reached at editor@willistonpioneer.com or at 528-3343.