Sheriff candidates Danny Ellis and Ray Cross debate in the 2016 election in this Planet file shot. Don't miss the KWN debate on Thursday, or the chamber luncheon at noon, if you're interested in local politics.
Political animals, don't sleep through Thursday. If you do, you might as well continue hibernating through June. Thursday, April 19, is an important day for local politics.
With Dade County as overwhelmingly Republican as it is--80 percent in the last presidential election--the importance of November has waned in favor of May, when most offices are effectively decided in the primary election. (In fairness, though, it must be observed that this year two incumbents are challenged by Democrats.)
Anyhow, tempus fugit, winter affords few opportunities for flesh-pressing and here we are somehow in mid-April without having seen much politicking by candidates of either party.
Moreover, on the May 22 primary ballot is the contentious referendum for TSPLOST, the transportation special purpose local option sales tax that would pay for sidewalks and roads and that would raise the local sales tax from 7 cents to 8. Note use of conditional: Earlier in the year, county officials promised community meetings to discuss TSPLOST. Those never materialized. While a vibrant anti-TSPLOST movement has made itself heard throughout the county, the only efforts to disseminate information on its benefits have been the publishing by Dade and the city of Trenton of TSPLOST sections on their respective websites.
Thursday, April 19, is not just the date of the only scheduled political debate scheduled for Dade County candidates, it is also the date for the only scheduled information session for TSPLOST.
At noon on Thursday, the Dade Chamber of Commerce hosts at its quarterly luncheon guest speaker Seth Millican of the Georgia Transportation Alliance, who will speak on TSPLOST. That luncheon costs $10 and takes place in the Commission Room of the Dade Administrative Building.
Then, at 6:30 p.m. in the Dade County Public Library, news station KWN has organized a debate among the candidates vying for seats in the May 22 election.
So, Dade voters, if you want a chance to size up the candidates for local offices, or if you want to make an informed decision about the TSPLOST referendum, The Planet will see you at noon at the Administrative Building and at 6:30 p.m. at the library.