The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners is considering a change in the way we elect our county representatives. The board Monday voted to consider the idea of district elections for future seats on the board instead of the current at-large method. They may also consider a combination of at-large and district elections. Districts could be drawn using census data and dividing the county into districts with populations of approximately 12,000 to 13,000.
Itâ€™s a good idea to explore election methods in a county with such diverse interests as Lincoln. It presents an opportunity for citizens to express opinions on the current form of representation. The question arises as to why this issue is on the table. In the past it has been eastern Lincoln County residents who most often complained about services and resources. They still complain but today they are well represented by Tom Anderson, the chairman, and newcomer Marie Moore. The board has representation from the western part of the county in Commissioner Carrol Mitchem. If any area is not represented by residency on the current board, it is the city of Lincolnton. So far, no one from the city seems to be complaining. If some segment of the county doesnâ€™t feel it has a voice, we havenâ€™t heard who it is.
Moore pointed out during the discussion Monday that commissioners should speak for the whole county, not for the east, west or the city of Lincolnton. She makes an excellent point.
The old axiom comes to mind when you see a major change proposed: If it ainâ€™t broke, donâ€™t fix it.
A few years from now, as the countyâ€™s population continues to grow and more divergent interests develop, that could change. For now, we see no reason to change an election method that reflects the views of a county-wide constituency.