Roses and thorns: 7/23/17




A rose to Bill Lawrence, whose grace in the face of a gut-wrenching loss in the Caledonia mayor's race is an example of statesmanship all public servants would do well to consider. Lawrence, who was seeking a third term as major, was defeated by a single vote by challenger Mitch Wiggins. That vote was revealed the day after the election, which ended with both candidates tied with 198 votes. The single valid affidavit vote was announced by the election commission Wednesday as both candidates waited for the outcome. When Wiggins' name was called, Lawrence stood, walked over the Wiggins and shook his hand. Lawrence will be remembered for many things during his terms as mayor. The dignified way in which accepted this disappointment certainly is worthy of remembering as well. 




A thorn to whoever is responsible for a flier being circulated on Southside Columbus calling for a boycott of businesses because of a zoning dispute. The flier calls for a boycott of a business owned by Kenny Frye, whose plans for a three-unit town home on the Southside is opposed by homeowners in the area. The filer also called for boycotts of businesses owned by two zoning board members, Quinn Brislin and Rob Graham. Frye is within his right to build the town home, which is zoned for multi-family units, and has reached out to those who are protesting, offering to work with them to see if some compromise can be reached. The flier certainly damages those efforts. It's worth noting that many of the most outspoken critics of Frye's plans said the flier is inappropriate. We agree. The flier damages efforts to bring an amicable ending to this dispute. 




A rose to the Columbus Exchange Club, which this week announced its annual grant recipients. This year, the club will award $8,800 in grants to Boy Scouts Troop 1 of the Pushmataha Area Council, Camp Rising Sun, the Columbus Arts Council, Father's Child Ministry, HEARTS After-School Tutoring, My Book, Safe Haven and Golden Triangle Outdoors. The club raises money throughout the year while also recommending nonprofits to receive the yearly grants, club president Ann Marie Langford said. This year's grant total is about $2,500 more than the previous year. Knowing what we do about these charities, every dollar is much needed and will be spent wisely. We applaud the Exchange Club for their hard work and commitment to the community these grants represent. 




A rose to former Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk Angie McGinnis for agreeing to serve as interim circuit clerk until a new leader for the office is picked in November 7's special election. Supervisors voted to appoint McGinnis after other potential contenders -- including former justice court judge candidate Cheikh Taylor and former circuit clerk candidate E. Regina Evans -- asked supervisors not to consider them for the interim job. McGinnis became an option for the job after she shared her willingness to return to work and said she would not seek office on a permanent basis. McGinnis' experience assures the circuit clerk's office will operate effectively until the election. Voters will choose a successor to Glenn Hamilton, who pleaded guilty to felony methamphetamine possession in Clay County and resigned.



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