A rose to all those who have raised the tone of discourse as we await the final results of the Columbus mayoral race. While election officials await the possible arrival of the last outstanding absentee ballots, it appears Keith Gaskin is well on his way to defeating incumbent Mayor Robert Smith and Montrell Coburn after a bruising campaign that saw outside groups spew ugly and unfounded allegations in an attempt to hijack the campaigns. As the votes came in, many put forward conspiracy theories and accusations. But that tone, we believe, is changing. All three candidates were gracious in recent comments made to The Dispatch, each promising to work with the winner for the good of the community. Likewise, we have seen citizens offer words of unity and healing on social media. When this race is over, much work will need to be done to move Columbus in the proper direction, which is why these kinds of comments are encouraging. We must all work together for this common cause.
A rose to Columbus businessman Andy Stewart, who led the way in providing pizza and chicken at City Hall for all those who gathered there Thursday for the long and tedious work of examining 158 affidavit ballots cast in Tuesday’s general election. Stewart and others provided food not only for the election workers, but for those who gathered to witness the proceedings. We dare say that this act of kindness helped change the tone of the proceedings. Those in charge of determining the validity of these ballots no doubt found the work stressful, given the importance of every vote in a race where the margin was so narrow. The thoughtful gesture was certain to have a good effect on everyone.
A rose to Dr. Michael Shaw, an emergency room physician at OCH Regional Medical Center, for his calming influence and reassurances, which helped Kateland Parker in the terrifying and painful aftermath of a chain reaction car crash on Highway 82 on June 2. Parker wrote to share her story of the accident. Pinned in her car, frightened and badly injured – a compound fracture to her leg — Parker watched as Shaw, who was off-duty at the time, managed to get into the passenger seat as emergency workers began responding to the scene. The doctor kept her calm, reassured her that she would be OK, even spoke with Parker’s mother on the phone to update her on her daughter’s condition. Shaw covered her with a borrowed paramedic’s jacket as firefighters began using the jaws of life to free her from the wreckage. Parker said Shaw, along with first responders and others, helped her endure the frightening ordeal. Her message to Shaw: “I’ll never forget you saved my life that day. You are my hero.”
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.