The Clarksdale Board of Mayor and Commissioners approved a resolution Friday that makes it easier to get something passed during a special election.
If a simple majority of the people voting on an issue in a particular election vote for something, the measure passes. In the past, more than half of all registered voters, whether or not they participated in an election, had to be in favor of the measure for it to pass, if the resolution is approved by the state legislature.
The change will make it easier to get two issues passed when Clarksdale residents likely go to the polls on the first Tuesday in August (Aug. 6). The legislature must approve those issues being on the ballot.
The first is asking for permission to use property taxes for an urban renewal bond in the amount of $17 million to go toward solving problems such as flooding, dilapidated infrastructure, old bridges, potholed roads and cracked sidewalks. The property tax would be assessed in early 2020.
The second is to change the format of the Clarksdale Public Utilities commissioners. The commissioners would become an advisory board and all decisions made would have to be approved by the Board of Mayor and Commissioners.
What side you are on does not really matter. There are valid pros and cons for each issue, just like in any election.
What is important is that everyone registered to vote in this election heads to the polls and casts their ballots. Just because fewer votes will be needed to pass the measures on the ballot is no reason to stay home.
Your voice must be heard and the decisions made, for better or worse, should be communitywide with as much input as possible.
There was good reason for the Board of Mayor and Commissioners to propose the change allowing a measure to pass if a simple majority of those who vote in that election approve. We cannot sit around and wait for those who choose to stay home and not vote to move forward.
When you knowingly and willfully do not vote for something, you are giving up your right to have any say in how something turns out. Little would be accomplished if we did that.
With the way things have been, you could stop something from getting passed by staying home. Now, you must likely get to the polls and vote.
If you are for the measures expected to be on the ballot, do not rely on your friends to go to the polls and vote. Fewer votes may be needed, but you never know how many people will show up and how things will turn out. You still need to show up and vote.
We are not going to tell you how to vote. The community in Clarksdale has a little more than seven months to make that decision.
All we are asking is you do not let the fact that fewer votes should be needed to pass the measures deter you from going to the polls.
If all goes as planned, show up and vote on Aug. 6.