Two Important Events
Last updated 6/30/2021 at 2:08pm
In a few days, two important events will occur in Transylvania County, two events that are critically connected.
On Sunday, the nation will commemorate the Declaration Of Independence of the United States on July 4, 1776, asserting the truth that a government’s legitimacy relies on the consent of the people and the protection of their common welfare.
It’s a day of celebration, with families typically getting together to enjoy food and fun events, including fireworks.
In the past, downtown Brevard has held a variety of events on July 4, including a patriotic 5K and Fun Run, music, pet show, car show, art display, the reading of the Declaration of Independence, hot dog eating contest and highly competitive duck race.
Unfortunately, as in 2020, COVID-19 has meant those events will not go on this July 4th. The city, however, is sponsoring fireworks, which will take place, as is tradition, between 9:20 p.m. and 9:40 p.m., Sunday, on the Brevard College campus.
The campus will not be open to the public to view the fireworks, again because of COVID-19, and the public is asked to view them from other locations.
As we make our plans for this cherished national holiday, we think of the words of Nigerian author Chinua Achebe who reminds us that, “A functioning, robust democracy requires a healthy educated, participatory fellowship, and an educated, morally grounded leadership.”
Achebe’s reminder of our civic duty brings us to another important related event occurring this Friday.
Civil debate and the open-minded weighing of various positions and ideas are also critical for the health of our democracy.
It is, therefore, vitally important that local residents come forward to file for these races – to help maintain our democracy.
Brevard will get its first new mayor in roughly 22 years, after the news in May that Jimmy Harris would not seek another term. The current four-year terms of council members Mac Morrow and Maureen Copelof will also expire. The filing fee for mayor is $105, and the filing fee for the council seats is $67. In Rosman, the four-year terms of Jared Crowe, Tricia Hendricks and Deedra Shelton will expire. The filing fee for these seats is $24. Filing for these races will end at noon, Friday, July 16.
We hope that enough candidates file for these races to make them competitive, something that hasn’t always happened in the past.
In the 2019 municipal elections, for example, the mayor’s race in Rosman and the two aldermen seats up for grabs were uncontested.
In Brevard, three candidates filed for the three open seats on the council, while a fourth candidate, Geraldine Dinkins, ran an ultimately successful write-in candidacy.
Competition is good in many aspects of life, including elections, and it is critical for democracies such as ours to thrive. To all those who do file for these upcoming elections, they deserve our thanks.
It takes courage to put one’s self in such a position, and then, if elected, face the daily challenges and criticisms.
But with their participation, it means we continue the promise laid out in that celebrated Declaration nearly 245 years ago.