Hopefully, just as quickly, any acrimony left in the wake of the voters’ decisions will disappear also.
Because, while there were, as always, some winners and losers, it is now time to move on and all work together to get down to the business of making our community a better place to live.
The voters had some wonderful and oftentimes tough choices this time around, and that is always a great place to find ourselves. When not just one, but two or more good candidates are vying on the ballot, the people are the real winners.
Hopefully, the new Canton City Council will usher in a season of cooperation reflective of the positive tone of this election.
The candidates all worked hard to keep this election focused on the issues. That was such a refreshing change from what we too often see in politics today.
And people are fed up with bickering and petty politics all the way up the line.
In a time when our economy is still in shambles, when people are struggling to pay their house payment and taxes and put food on the table, when jobs are hard to come by and it often seems that the very core of our society is threatened, we want leaders who are serious and trustworthy.
There were also what I would consider some small, but historic, shifts in Canton as a result of the election.
For starters, for the first time in many decades, we will no longer have a woman on the Canton City Council come January.
We have had some wonderful women to serve our city in the past. I believe that Margaret Logan was the first female to be on the Canton City Council.
The next woman to be elected was Amelia Rose, who took her seat on the City Council in 1990. Rose decided to seek the office after her father died while running for a seat on the council.
Ms. Rose decided to qualify for the seat he was vying for and she went on to serve for the next 20 years.
In 1991 Jo Ellen Wilson was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Cecil Roland, who died while in office. Ms. Wilson went on to serve until she chose not to run in 2009.
Eight years ago, Pat Tanner was elected to the council and, if my memory serves me correctly, was the first African-American to be elected to the Canton City Council.
While both Rose and Ms. Tanner lost their re-election bids on Tuesday, they certainly deserve our thanks for their public service.
People in public office, especially at the local level, do it because they truly care about their community and sincerely want to make a difference. Serving on a city council or commission means long hours, little pay and often even less appreciation.
Another change this time around is the age mix on the council.
Over the years, we have had more diversity, with a wide variety of ages serving on the council. Not this time around
It will be interesting to see how seven men age 50 or older work together.
Another interesting shift in the 2011 Canton city election is that the new large subdivisions in the city for the first time will have a majority on the council.
Bob Rush lives in Laurel Canyon, Hooky Huffman resides in Great Sky, and John Beresford and Glen Cummins both make their homes in the River Green community.
With this shift away from representatives from longer-established communities to the new developments, another subtle change is in the wind.
For many this change is welcomed, but only time will tell what this actually means in the governing and operation of the city. Change is always exciting and always offers new opportunities, but it can also be a little scary.
We oftentimes get stuck in a rut of “this is how it’s always been” and forget to look for new and better solutions.
That’s what’s so great about the election process. It allows us to examine our government and to cast our vote for the persons we think can best represent us.
Sometimes our candidates win and sometimes they lose.
New voices are heard and sometimes heeded, changes made, or status quos maintained.
Now it’s time to get back to business in a renewed spirit of cooperation and optimism.
Good luck to the new council.
Rebecca Johnston is former editor of The Cherokee Tribune.