By Shawn Spencer
Out of all the seasons, I really think that election season is my favorite. It is always such a lovely time of year when our community comes together for the betterment of Monrovia. The birds are singing, the breeze is gently blowing and everyone is kind and neighborly to each other. Yeah, I wish that were a true story but alas, I jest.
Am I the only person in town that finds it comical that our local city-level elections cause so much virulence within our community? We have such a small, homey town. We come together for our community in ways that I have not seen in any other city. We rally when one of our neighbors needs help; when we raise funds for needy families at Christmas, we knock it out of the park! So where does all that goodwill go during election season?
We all love Monrovia, that’s a certainty. So, what causes the disdain? Is it based on candidate loyalty? Is it based on pure hatred of a person or candidate? Nothing good every comes from acrimony.
It poisons the entire community and breeds animosity amongst all of us. Lies are told; rumors and disinformation are spread like a nasty virus. The saddest part of that are the people that believe whatever they are told. People, please be better. DO better. Take it all in, if you must but, do your own research.
Agendas are available online. City Council meetings are available online. Reach out to any candidate and ask them the questions that are important to you. If you read something on social media or overhear it at [insert coffee shop], and blindly believe it without researching it, then shame on you.
People often have their own agenda. It can be based on a program or project they are involved with, or it can be traced back to the candidate loyalty and/or hatred aspect. When this behavior is supported by a candidate, that’s a huge red flag to me about their character and what they will bring to the dais.
Often, it is division. I think I have finally decided for whom I’m voting. No one knows who that is but I, because it’s personal. I won’t discuss my reasons for not voting for a particular candidate. Ok, I might talk about Stephen Grollnek, but not out of malice. People are just often curious as to who he is and why he runs. Then they see him participate in the Mayoral forum and have even more questions.
A city council divided only hurts the city’s residents. The lack of support and disdain from the community only adds to the division. I am in no way inferring that our elected leaders are above criticism, but in fact the opposite. They must be held to a higher standard. There has been many a time that I was displeased with the outcome of a council vote. I can honestly say that reaching out to one or more council members brought me clarity and understanding. There are a lot of moving parts that can affect a vote, some of which I’m not privy to. Our council is there on our behalf, but they cannot please each one of us every time. There are five of them and I am confident that the one thing they do have in common is a love for Monrovia.
Election day is Tuesday, June 7. Get out and vote, Monrovia. Whether your candidate(s) win or lose, teach your children how to win or lose with dignity and class. No sour grapes allowed, ESPECIALLY if you did not vote. Remember that we are a strong, caring and generous community, no matter for whom we vote.