On Thursday, October16 Vernonia’s Voice hosted a political forum called “Meet the Candidates.” We invited candidates for Vernonia Mayor, Vernonia City Council, Columbia County Commissioner, and Circuit Court Judge. The candidates answered a series of questions allowing audience members a chance to see some of the differences between them.
In the past, Vernonia’s Voice has not made endorsements of political candidates. But there are several races on the ballot this year that are just too important.
Vernonia’s Voice is pleased to announce our endorsement of Josette Mitchell for Vernonia Mayor, Jill Hult for Vernonia City Council and Henry Heimuller for Columbia County Commissioner.
The following is recap of the “Meet the Candidates” event and our reasons for endorsing these candidates.
Candidates: Josette Mitchell, Sally Harrison
Josette Mitchell has served as Vernonia Mayor for the last four years. Her opponent, Sally Harrison was the previous Mayor; Mitchell defeated Harrison in the 2010 election and than ran unopposed in 2012.
In the time Mitchell has been Mayor she has been extremely active and involved in the day-to-day operations at City Hall. She has been extremely busy, acting as the interim City Administrator for nine months as well as Mayor this past year. She has shown the ability to dig in and learn about and deal with the issues facing the City. As she stated during the forum, she has been involved in moving numerous projects forward and wants the opportunity to complete the work she started as mayor. She deserves her chance.
Mitchell is a doer. She has diligently tackled several complicated issues head-on and worked to find solutions. I believe she has learned that government work can be painstakingly slow, but she has shown she has the determination and grit and to stick with it and deal with the issues. Whether or not you’ve agreed with her decisions or methods, you certainly can’t accuse her of standing pat, giving up, or letting things slide. Whether it’s been helping a citizen deal with a drainage issue, or dealing with the conflict between the Ridge Riders and the City, or complaints about maintenance at the cemetery, or making sure the Spencer Park fields were built correctly, Mitchell has jumped in, looked for solutions and followed through. Read More