Local elections: May we live in interesting times

Local elections this year promise some interesting choices for voters as more and more candidates jump into races for the school board, board of supervisors and county offices.

We have one candidate for sheriff claiming he is running because God told him to. He will need more than a claimed endorsement from the almighty to beat Sheriff Shannon Zeman. We’re not sure God himself (or herself) could oust the popular sheriff.

Turn to just about any page in the phone book and you will find a candidate for the school board. Former county administrator Henry McDaniel is running. So is bed and breakfast owner Jesse Lawrence and others.

Fireman Lauren Yoder wants Locust Grove Supervisor David Ingram’s seat on the board of supervisors. Former deputy sheriff Joe Turman is trying to oust Burks Fork Supervisor Bill Gardiner.  Former Little River Supervisor Kerry Whitlock is making noises about wanting his old seat back from Virgel Allen. Whitlock, who lost in the GOP primary four years ago, may run as an independent.

The school board race promises to be the most interesting because of the controversy over some very unusual ways to pay retiring superintendent Terry Arbogast. Both Arbogast and the school board parsed words and played delaying games on just how much the long-time school system boss was making — something that became very clear when we finally learned that he was pulling down more than 168 grand a year, making him far and away the highest-paid county official.

Arbogast swears everything about his controversial pay history was open and above board but his credibility at this point is so damaged that he could  claim the earth was round and rotated the sun and many in the county would want a second opinion.  Any good that the school superintendent did while running the education system in Floyd County will be buried under memories of the questionable way he and the school board handled questions about his compensation.

The school superintendent is leaving in September. He won’t be around to see what happens to three school board members who face tough re-election campaigns over their role in the mess.  What makes this debacle so sad is that it didn’t have to happen. Just a little candor from the superintendent and the school board could have avoided the entire mess.

(Edited at 9:54 a.m. to correct list of candidates for school board.  I had one person listed who is not running for the post. My bad and my apologies.)

1 thought on “Local elections: May we live in interesting times”

  1. Oust the “popular” sheriff? Who are you kidding? I’m not sure what circle you are running in, but everywhere I go I run into people complaining about Zeman. I hear complaints about everything from his ego, to his poor leadership, to his lack of knowledge, to his fake sense of concern for the community….anyway you get the picture. Many people in the community are dissatisfied with Zeman and rightfully so. He has done little over the past two terms and now that he’s challenged, he if finally trying to produce so it appears like his department is functioning as it should be. What a joke!!! Crime and drugs would not be as rampant in the county as they are if the problems had been addressed as they began rather than waiting until they have snowballed out of control. As for the other races….what a mess.

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