Editorial: Thankful for their service

November 29, 2013 

Five elected leaders in eastern Wake County will conclude their public service careers in the current capacity over the next few weeks as elected terms end and newly elected officials take their places. They have all served well in a thankless role.

In Knightdale, Jeff Eddins and Tim Poirer will leave. In Zebulon, Roy Collins concludes a long career in public service. And in Wendell, Christie Adams and Ira Fuller will close out their service.

We hope all of them will continue to serve the public in other capacities as their abilities will allow.

There is much to be being an elected leader these days. There is constant pressure from varied interests to vote this way or that on a given topic. Town council members and commissioners almost always come in to office with agendas of their own and find it difficult to promote those agendas despite their best efforts because of the crush of other priorities that can be all-consuming at times.

And while many of us see our elected leaders participating in a couple televised meetings each month, there are a great many more obligations for an elected leader. There are meetings with other governmental organizations, committee meetings, ribbon cuttings, constituent service efforts and training that can make the job nearly a full-time gig if one does it right. And all that comes with much less than full-time pay.

We are quick to criticize our elected leaders when they make decisions that are overtly political or seem to favor a well-heeled interest over the majority of the populace. But we also ask our commissioners to think and act in the best interest of the entire community they serve. That sometimes means more tough decision-making and more calls, visits and emails from disgruntled voters.

There’s nothing easy about serving as a town elected official.

The five who are about to wrap up their current terms have all served admirably and we thank them for taking on what is surely a sometimes thankless task.

If you have a chance to speak to one of our outgoing officials, you should tell them the same.

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