Picking a Council member

Why is Matt Mittan so hung up on the City Council selecting a replacement [and not choosing someone] who, after serving one term, was denied another term by a majority of voters [“Meet the New Boss … Same as the Old Boss,” Commentary, Nov. 19]?

And what’s wrong with knowing where your Council member falls on the “conservative/liberal spectrum in terms of fiscal and social policy”? That seems to be important in how they govern. After all, we’re not picking a radio personality or a used-car salesman here.

— Neal Evans

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2 thoughts on “Picking a Council member

  1. Matt Mittan


    Thanks for the questions.

    I’m very concerned about a policy that sets a new precedent to have a majority of current elected officials decide who will serve in an office that is supposed to be elected by the people.

    Can you imagine if this approach were followed for other areas of government? What if someone left the Supreme Court and the sitting judges picked the replacement themselves? They would use the opportunity to further solidify their majority, whether that was reflective of the current political climate or not. That is precisely what we’re looking at in Asheville.

    As to your second question… There’s nothing wrong with knowing a where someone falls politically. What’s wrong is that the current city council is making the decision about who serves the voters, based on their own biases and agenda along that political spectrum… not the voters themselves.

    Elected bodies serve at the privilege and the direction of the voters and the voters alone. When the voters are left out of the process for the selection of anyone into those positions, then democracy itself is weakened.

    In closing, you stated; “After all, we’re not picking a radio personality or a used-car salesman here.”

    Neal, you’re not even picking a city council member here – politicians are.

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