Several municipalities in Kanawha County had their local elections Tuesday, but you might not know it by looking at the races.
As the Daily Mail’s Matt Murphy reported, the races for town council in Cedar Grove, Glasgow and Clendenin were uncontested. As a matter of fact, all of Cedar Grove’s candidates were unopposed, with the mayor, town recorder, police judge and four of five members of council running as incumbents. In Pratt and East Bank, six people ran for five council seats.
West Virginia continues to steadily lose population, and our state’s small towns are not immune. The population that remains is getting older, with fewer young people relocating to the Mountain State.
We’re seeing that lead to stagnant local government. When people don’t get involved and introduce their fresh ideas and perspectives, government can get stale.
An active, participatory democracy relies on new ideas and people willing to work. It’s easy to sit back and talk about what our leaders should or shouldn’t do, but very few put their money where their mouth is and involve themselves in the government process.
That needs to change. While we’re seeing younger people get involved in state-level politics — about a dozen members of the state Legislature are 30 years old or younger. That’s good. The Legislature needs the perspectives of younger people and so do our small municipal governments…