A rose to The Columbus Exchange Club for its series of candidates forums. Each week, the club invites candidates from each of the city’s wards and the mayor’s race. It’s a great opportunity for members to hear what the candidates have to say. An informed voter is the best voter, and the Exchange Club’s efforts to inform voters while giving candidates a forum to express their views is a healthy thing. And a rose to mayoral candidates Robert Smith, Glenn Lautzenhiser and Bo Jarrett for participating in the most recent forum. We applaud anyone who is willing to put themselves in the public eye as a candidate for office. That status often invites criticism, scrutiny and sometimes, satire. Thursday the candidates for mayor acquitted themselves quite nicely.
A rose to Jason Spears, who announced Friday that he is stepping down from his post as president of the Link’d Young Professionals. Spears made the decision to leave that post after he moved up to vice president of the Columbus Municipal School District’s Board of Trustees. Since Link’d is working on an agreement with the school district-owned Magnolia Bowl to turn the facility into a community amphitheater, Spears gave up his position to avoid a perception of a conflict of interest. Now, if only others in similar circumstances would follow his example.
A rose to Jonathan Stoll, a volunteer with Lowndes County Volunteer Fire Department District 5, who was first on the scene of a Wednesday evening fire that destroyed a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facility on Old West Point Road. Stoll, 22, got the call on his pager shortly after 7 p.m. and arrived within minutes, breaking the lock that secured the double gates and barreling down the gravel driveway toward what was by then a fully-involved structure fire. He fought the fire alone until other firefighters arrived on the scene. Some say being a volunteer firefighter is a thankless job. It shouldn’t be.
A rose to the organizers and volunteers who made Saturday’s Clean Sweep Columbus a success.
The annual event brings people from all walks of life together for the common goal of sprucing up the city. Projects included refurbishing basketball courts at Palmer Home for Children, painting at the Magnolia Bowl and picking up litter along roadsides and in neighborhoods,
The effort was funded by the Link’d Young Professionals’ Community Pillar Program, with area businesses contributing supplies and in-kind services.
It’s a refreshingly selfless display of community giving in a time when people too often seem to ask, “What’s in it for me?” At the end of the day, a cleaner city benefits us all, and we applaud everyone who makes this worthy event possible each year.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.