Elections spring into the limelight

The changing of the seasons is full upon us, and with that change brings warmer weather, loads of pollen and a few intriguing local elections.

South Bethany Town Council Member Bob Cestone recently confirmed he will not be seeking re-election in the town’s May 27 election. Three seats are up for grabs on the council, and with Cestone’s announcement, at least some degree of change is certain to take place among the town’s leadership.

Also on the plate is the hotly-contested Indian River School District School Board election on May 9. Our community will see two elections, as challenger Wilbert Laird will attempt to take the seat of Randall Hughes in District 3, and Jackie Wilson will run for the District 4 seat held by longtime board member Charles Birely. That, of course, is the election that is generating quite a bit of conversation in the area recently.

Birely has served on the school board for nearly 30 years, while Wilson made her name locally as an educator and principal at Lord Baltimore Elementary School. Two big names in one small community battling for one seat is enough to stir up emotions at any time.

Unfortunately, much of the attention has instead focused on other allegations.

As we reported two weeks ago, in the March 31 edition of the Coastal Point, allegations were made that an employee of the school district was posting election signs supporting Birely while on the clock. Birely said he had no knowledge of those acts taking place, and, as we also reported, an official with the Sussex County Board of Elections said, even if the allegations are true, they would cause no legal ramifications. But the drum beats on concerning this issue.

Let’s stop it here.

The real issue here is that we have two candidates running for one seat — and they are each uniquely qualified. It is a good, and rare, position for a community to be in when both candidates bring something to the table. Keep this election clean, and discuss the issues. We all benefit by that.