Letter from the Editor 

Let me just get right to the burning question of the day: Who are you going to vote for in the May 4th primary contest for Shelby County register of deeds? I know. It's a tough one. There's ol' what's his name, the incumbent. But you can't overlook who's his face, the up-and-coming challenger. I foresee many sleepless nights ahead as I cogitate on this race.

Or not. Like most Shelby Countians, I don't have a dog in that hunt. Hell, off the top of my head, I don't even know the names of the dogs in that hunt. And if the prognosticators are correct, only 10 percent of Shelby Countians will bother to learn their names and vote in the primaries.

If Jay Leno can make a living baffling people on the street by asking them to name the vice president, I think it's safe to say the vast majority of us would fail a quiz asking us to identify, say, the current Probate Court clerk. Most of us would be more likely to be able to name an American Idol judge. I can name three: Randy "Pitchy Dawg" Jackson, Ellen DeGeneres, and Simon Cowell. Then there's that other chick.

click to enlarge Kara Dioguardi
  • Kara Dioguardi

But even though the lower-level officeholders may be on a par with the "other chick," their jobs are important. They are paid significant taxpayer-funded salaries. We want court paperwork filed properly. We want our deed registered accurately. We don't need a flashy politician to run, say, the Shelby County trustee's office. We just need an honest, reasonably intelligent human being.

The stakes are a little higher for the two "glamour" races at the top of the ballot — county mayor and county sheriff. With some form of consolidation proposal slated for this fall's ballot, it behooves us to pay attention to where the mayoral candidates stand on that issue and many others. Character and leadership qualities are also important.

Nor is managing the second-largest police force in the county a job for an amateur or someone with character issues. Shelby County suffered through two decades of cronyism, nepotism, and other malfeasances with former sheriffs A.C. Gilless and Jack Owens. With crime paramount in many voters' minds, the office of county sheriff requires a thoughtful vote.

I would venture to say that most of us have some homework to catch up on in order to learn all we can about the candidates before May 4th rolls around. A good place to start is with Jackson Baker's cover story on page 18.

See you at the polls.

Bruce VanWyngarden

brucev@memphisflyer.com

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Common Sense Pot Policy

      Unlike Bill Clinton, I've inhaled. So have 49 percent of all Americans, according to a recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Marijuana (medical or otherwise) has been decriminalized or legalized in 23 states, and measures are on the ballot to legalize it in five more states this November, including Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and California (where medical pot is already legal). A recent Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans think pot should be legalized and regulated like alcohol ...

Blogs

News Blog

MATA Security Guard Placed on Diversion in Passenger Death

News Blog

Top Guns: Shelby Tops Tennessee in Handgun Permits

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Movies and Video Games Meet at the Cossitt Library

News Blog

President Jimmy Carter Discusses His Work with Habitat

Politics Beat Blog

Haslam, in Memphis, Suggests Calling Special Session

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Politics and the Movies 3: Olympia

Intermission Impossible

"Small and Essential," New Quark Theatre Company Offers Alternatives

Intermission Impossible

Disgraced Sets A Course for Conflict

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bruce VanWyngarden

  • Common Sense Pot Policy

    Unlike Bill Clinton, I've inhaled. So have 49 percent of all Americans, according to a recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Marijuana (medical or otherwise) has been decriminalized or legalized in 23 states, and measures are on the ballot to legalize it in five more states this November, including Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and California (where medical pot is already legal). A recent Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans think pot should be legalized and regulated like alcohol ...
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Tales of New Orleans

    I'd reached the point in the evening when a gnat in my drink seemed more like a feature than a bug. I'd reached the point where that line seemed like comic genius, so I tweeted it. I'd reached the point where having a small dog walking up and down the bartop seemed perfectly normal. I'd reached peak New Orleans ...
    • Aug 18, 2016
  • Schadenfreude at the Polls

    • Aug 11, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Vendor in the Grass

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks. — William Shakespeare

    Is there such a thing as "bad activism"? I'm asking because I'm seeing a lot of criticism of the folks who are protesting the Memphis Zoo's encroachment onto the Greensward at Overton Park.

    • Mar 31, 2016
  • On the Road

    "I can't believe it's not Buddha." — frustrated monk "I'm trying to be Zen about it." I hear this phrase, now and then. It's often used as a way of saying, "I'm trying to control my emotions." But "trying to be Zen" is an oxymoron. There's no trying to be Zen. You're here now. You're already enlightened. The trick is realizing it. Which is hard.
    • Apr 7, 2016
  • Memphis: Locally Sourced

    Last weekend on Facebook, I posted a link to a story about the poet Mary Oliver and her longtime companion, Molly Malone Cook. I liked it — and wanted to share it — because of its insights into the joy, pain, and ultimate mystery of living with someone for 40 years, until death takes one person away.
    • Apr 21, 2016
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2016

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation