Ward 3 Runoff

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ward 3 runoff important to entire county

If you think of Thursday’s special municipal run-off election for Ward 3 Batesville alderman as only a minor matter that involves the 300 voters who participated in the first election, you are missing the point.

The winner of Thursday’s election between developer and retired teacher Joanne Autrey-Druetto and business and real estate owner Stan Harrison may  be put into positions of tie-breaker or vote swinger.

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Not only will that person represent Ward Three residents, that person will be part of a board that is responsible for driving the trade area’s largest economic engine, the City of Batesville.

If you’re good with  math, figure the amount of retail sales that it takes to create Batesville’s 18 percent share of the seven percent sales tax collected. Batesville’s share during the state’s last fiscal year was almost $3,750,000.  Using very rough math, that would equate to approximately $300,000,000 in retail sales druing fiscal 2007.

Recent revelations that at least two Panola municipalities have fallen behind in their payments to Panola County Solid Waste for garbage collection and to the Panola County jail for housing their municipal prisoners further underscore, if indirectly, Batesville’s importance as the county’s economic engine.

Batesville is current with its payments for those services, and those payments to the county widen the flow of revenue and assure that these services can be provided all its residents .

Batesville’s board of aldermen is responsible for providing infrastructure and basic amenities to serve the city’s citizens and the many others who shop, work and attend classes within the limits of this municipality.

This board is responsible for appointing qualified people to serve on lay boards and committees that recommend policy that this board will ultimately vote up or down.

This board is responsible for making or adopting future plans and goals for the city’s maintenance and expansion.

This board should be about public service, not self service with the citizens’ best interests being put ahead of personal or political interest.

As goes Batesville, so goes the county.

On Thursday, Ward Three voters will again have the chance to be represented on the city board.

Please go vote.