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

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

News Blog

VIDEO: Ride Along With the Big Roll Out

Beyond the Arc

Ed Stefanski Leaving Grizzlies to Join Detroit Pistons

News Blog

Explore Bike Share Officially Launches

News Blog

Memphis Pets of the Week (May 24-30)

News Blog

Ford Canale Appointed as Interim Council Member

Hungry Memphis

Margarita Fest

News Blog

Changes Urged Against 'Free' Water

News Blog

Barbecue Fest 2018

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Milos Forman's Debut Loves of a Blonde Screens Tonight

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

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