Results hang in limbo

Published 3:59 pm Thursday, October 30, 2008

It looks like Calera Mayor George Roy will have to wait a little longer to take his retirement. With news that the U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against Calera alleging the city’s new districts violate the Voting Rights Act, we have to wonder: how long will this go on, and how much damage will it do to this city?

Instead of new mayor Jon Graham bringing in a new council with a sense of excitement and possibility, election winners have to hang in limbo.

Even now, Graham is unable to plan effectively since he doesn’t really know who his councilmembers will be. It’s very possible the Justice Department will force a new election using the old voting lines. That could lead to a very different outcome than we saw in the regular election, which would no doubt lead to more confusion and infighting.

In other words, it could be a very long time before Calera’s government is able to settle down and work effectively towards improving the city.

We’re just surprised Calera officials didn’t make sure all of their T’s were crossed and I’s dotted before the election. Yes, the paperwork was turned in, but it wasn’t approved — and since the new district lines were eliminating a majority-minority voting district, it seems city officials would have wanted to be sure. They made the decision to go ahead with an election knowing there was a chance this would happen. Hindsight may be 20/20, but a little foresight might have helped Calera more.

We Say is the Shelby County Reporter’s weekly staff editorial