I promise you, I am way more cynical than you are when it comes to politics.
Well, with one exception: local politics involving people whose character I know well.
Today, Greenville, SC resident, Bruce Countryman shared with me that he had cast his early voting ballot. I grew up with Bruce and know his character well. He is an honest, decent, solid and reliable man. He’s that guy you’d trust to protect the water you drink and the nature you enjoy.
Bruce noticed no one had put him/herself forward for one of the three elected commissioners who oversee the Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation District.
He wrote himself in.
It took five minutes for me to discover there are five commissioners on the district’s board of commissioners. Two are appointed by the state. Three are elected.
None of them are paid.
Like most municipal elected posts, these are non-partisan elections.
I grew up in Greenville. Some of the county’s greatest features are its natural beauty, fertile soil and pristine mountain water. I’ve boasted about these many times over the years.
The Conservation District is tasked with protecting the county’s water, soil, forests, wildlife, air and other natural resources. In short, this is an agency that protects Greenville’s second greatest competitive assets (of course, people are the first).
Commissioners oversee a public monthly meeting during which the Soil and Water staff offer their reports and take direction from the commissioners. The role of commissioner requires a combination of wisdom and support offered to municipal employees who often labor in obscurity, yet have a crucial role in the county.
Why would someone invest of his time and energy to run for one of these unpaid posts? To be honest, I don’t know. In the case of Bruce, I believe it is because he cares about his community.
How could it be that there are not dozens of people seeking to support the workers who keep Greenville that way? As the county grows, there are many challenges as industrial needs compete with natural resources and agriculture continues to be part of the economy.
Like Bruce, I find it unacceptable that no one has volunteered to fill one of these roles.
Let’s fix that.
It’s too late for an official campaign. But it’s not too late to write a good man in.
Unlike Bruce, I don’t live in Greenville anymore. I moved away in 1992. My family is still there. Many friends are still there. I can’t vote in the election for the Board of Commissioners for the Greenville County Soil and Water District.
If I could. I’d write in Bruce as my choice on NOVEMBER 8, 2016.
In a year when most are facing the hard decision of who to vote against, which candidate they dislike less than the other and how to reconcile him/herself with their choice, here’s a chance to vote for something positive, and someone good:
If you live in Greenville and are eligible to vote, will you write Bruce’s name in? It’s easy to do. You’ll see the empty post. Then you’ll see the empty blank where a candidate’s name should appear.
Write in this name as your choice: Bruce Countryman.
Until then, like his page, learn more about him there, share it, offer your endorsement as well.