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Next group of commissioners should build on momentum

Elections always offer opportunities to ponder the future. As a country, state, county or community, we can think about what effect our collective decision at the polls will have for the years to come.

It is always the hope that voters have taken the time and effort to educate themselves about the candidates and their views beforehand, so that we are confident our new leaders (or old leaders who have been reaffirmed) will guide us toward brighter days.

But we’re never exactly sure what the next four, or six, years will bring, and at this point in the process, there can be no changing our minds.

The March Primary Election was an important one for our county. While the candidates for Chilton County Commission still must be voted on in the November General Election, it can be argued that the narrowing of the Republican field from 12 candidates to seven in the Primary is even more significant than what is to come in the months ahead.

Perhaps surprisingly, there was even an incumbent, Shannon Welch, who fell short of the cut-off line, though just barely (Welch was less than 100 votes behind seventh-place finisher and Commission Chairman Allen Caton, with provisional ballots still to be counted).

Definitely surprising was the fact that there were three newcomers among the top five vote-earners. After incumbents Joseph Parnell and Greg Moore were challengers Jimmie Hardee, Steve Langston and Matt Mims.

The Chilton County Commission no doubt will look different one year from now, as some incumbents are replaced by new faces. Whoever winds up filling those seats, we hope the next group of commissioners will continue the momentum that has been built by the current group.

The under-construction St. Vincent’s Chilton and industrial park property purchased jointly with the city of Clanton are two of the feathers in the caps of the current commission.

The next commission should build on that legacy by working together for a better future for Chilton County.