This apparently wasn’t the time for change in Effingham County’s three municipalities.
There were nine positions being contested in three municipal elections. There will be exactly two new faces among the three city councils after the election results.
Two years ago, with in-person votes and absentee votes, there were 592 ballots cast in the Rincon elections. Granted, there was a mayor’s race involved.
But this year, there were only 485 votes cast in the council race, with three seats up for election.
That’s 485 more votes cast than in either of the Guyton or Springfield elections. It’s also 485 more than the number of people who signed up to run against the three Guyton incumbents up for election.
At least there were seven candidates running for three seats contested on the Rincon ballot. That shows there was at least some interest in being part of the process and some question about how the city conducts its business. But the dropoff in voters, 18 percent fewer in 2011 from 2009, begs the question — how much interest in what goes on with the city is there among its residents?
With all the questions and concerns surrounding Guyton’s plans for its own wastewater treatment facility, having no one to challenge the status quo means there will be no one to challenge it on the council.
Springfield will have a new face on the city council next year, as Steve Shealy ran unopposed for the seat being vacated by longtime council member Butch Kieffer. The city is still two years away from a scheduled mayoral election.
For the returning members of the three city councils, and the newcomers who will join them January 2012, we hope they will work together with their respective councils and with the other governmental entities in the county for the betterment of the community as a whole.