Running for office

Were you incensed when the Horry County Board of Education gave itself a 66 percent pay hike.

Did you shake your head when the school board gave the contract for construction of five new schools to the same high bidder?

Do you think the school board’s decision to hire private security guards at some schools instead of county police was a wise decision?

Speaking of public safety, do you think Horry County Council should be doing more to beef up the county police department?

Is county government managing rapid growth in a responsible manner?

Would you like to see existing roads repaved to cover up years of neglect?

These are just some of the issues leaders in Horry County face on a daily basis.

This is the time of year when those not in power have an opportunity to actually put their frustration over the status quo to good use.

Starting Friday, citizens can file to run for a variety of public offices. This year, voters will fill seven seats on Horry County Council, including the chairman’s post, a solicitor, six school board members and all of the local S.C. House of Representative seats.

Filing closes March 30.

I realize making the decision to run for public office isn’t easy.

Winning public office will take a great deal of sacrifice, both financially and with time.

And, upon election, public office will require even more time to serve constituent needs.

On the other hand, serving in public office must have its benefits. All of the incumbents on county council are seeking re-election.

Before you make up your mind about running for office, try this exercise. Write a 25-word statement that begins with “I am running because...”

If you are running because the position you are seeking has a salary, or if you think you may benefit financially from the position, disqualify yourself immediately.

If you are running for office because you want recognition, honors or a sense of importance, give your ego a break and don’t run for office.

On the other hand, if you think you have the time, the talent and the desire to make life better for your friends and neighbors, I encourage you to consider running for public office this year. Our nation and our state need leaders who genuinely want to serve.

There’s a lot of discontent with the incumbents, so this may be a good time to run.

If you want to throw your hat in the ring, be sure to visit Sandy Martin, the county’s director of elections and voter registration before the March 30 deadline.

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Steve Robertson is owner and publisher of the Waccamaw Publishers family of community newspapers

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