So, while not knowing who the winners and losers were, I do know that several of the races were resolved — those races without opposition and those races with only two candidates.
Those races yet undecided because of three or more candidates will be decided on Aug. 21.
And because of the issues involved in this election it became personal for some and it has caused a bitterness I haven’t seen in Cherokee County since moving here in 1995.
With only a few races yet to be decided on Aug. 21 today may be a good time to let the healing process begin.
It may be hard to swallow for the losers, but the winners won using a system established by America’s Founding Fathers in 1787 and this system has served America well ever since.
Every time a bitter race divides a community such as this one has I am reminded of a scripture found in Mark 3:24-25 that reads: “And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”
It’s time for Cherokee County to heal itself.
This community divide, with its bitter undertones, began I believe, over the legally required realignment of school board and county commissioners districts.
The match that lit this fire storm was the realignment of two popular school board members out of their districts. This issue reminded me of what happens when constitutional principles are ignored and laws are established to protect one group over another.
This issue reminded me of how rural Georgia voters tried to protect themselves from the masses of Georgia’s growing cities with a law that gave equal voting power to a rural county with 5,000 voters and to a larger county with 500,000 voters.
It was called the County Unit System — each county, regardless of population had one electoral vote. Rural Georgia controlled the state with this law until it was challenged in the Supreme Court in 1961.
The Supreme Court outlawed the County Unit System in July 1962. I remember that day well as I worked for the Georgia Milk Producers, a rural based organization — and its influence in Georgia politics had just been greatly decimated.
But back to the issue at hand — education and what is best for the children.
When I think of education I am reminded of Jethro’s counsel to his son-in-law Moses in Exodus 18:20 who told Moses: “And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.”
These laws and ordinances, I believe, were what the apostle James referred to as “the perfect law of liberty,” a set of laws that governed both the spiritual and secular lives of the Israelites.
One set we know as the 10 Commandments, the other set is known as “The Law of the Covenant,” the biblical laws that inspired America’s founders.
These laws so inspired the Colonists that in 1787 Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance — a law that required all schools to teach “religion, morals, and knowledge.”
Under this law America grew and prospered, and became the shining hill of liberty to all the enslaved people of the world — a law the new president of the school board should review periodically.
The new president will face numerous challenges during his/her presidency. One of the first challenges will be to step forth and lead in the county’s healing process, including taking a lead in resolving the board’s relationship with the state delegation, now at a new low.
Another challenge will be to build a stronger relationship between the school board and taxpayers of the county: remembering what happened in Wisconsin recently when the teachers unions thought they were above the law only to learn the taxpayers had a different opinion.
Remember here in the county there are 124,000 active voters and they, if riled sufficiently, can quickly change the local landscape.
Another challenge: to remember the president is elected to lead and direct the administrators of the school system in a manner that will prepare all children to face the real world out beyond the doors of the class room, to oversee the expenditures of the largest tax funded budget in the county, and to assure the taxpayers that a qualified replacement will be in place to replace an aging superintendent.
Now let the healing begin.
Donald Conkey is a retired agricultural economist in Woodstock.