Voters in Ocean View turned out last Saturday to select a mayor and councilman, and ended up selecting incumbent mayor Gordon Wood to maintain his position and challenger Tom Sheeran to fill the council seat of Perry Mitchell. Wood won a hotly-contested battle with retired police officer George Pickrell, topping the challenger by a mere 20 votes, while Sheeran defeated Mitchell pretty handily, by a count of 398-226.
That’s it. The election is over. The campaign signs that have dotted the area landscape can all be put away. And the rhetoric and name-calling can stop.
Now it’s time to go to work.
For those Ocean View residents who did not vote for Wood and Sheeran, we realize the results of the election can sting, and we hope for the town’s sake that you continue to serve as watchdogs of the elected officials, and to make your voices heard through the proper avenues of discourse. A government without checks and balances is not an effective means of leadership, and it’s critically important that you do not retreat after this loss, and continue to be vigilant in making your concerns public.
For those who did vote for Wood and Sheeran, congratulations. But it’s important to remember that George Pickrell received 286 votes in this election and Perry Mitchell garnered 226. There are many people in the town who share their views, and it’s important that their opinions be taken into consideration down the road, as well.
As long as we’re handing out advice here today, we’d also like to share that last thought with Wood and Sheeran — the two of you won your seats because more people in the town who voted agreed with your politics than your opponents’. You’ve been given great responsibility. You have to govern and serve all the people in Ocean View, and look at all points of view when reaching decisions.
And we, along with the citizens of Ocean View, will be watching closely.
We realize the rancor will not stop in Ocean View because of an election. There have been other elections in the town over the past several years, and the bad feelings have not just disappeared with a count of ballots. But we do hope that town officials and the citizens of the town can work together to move Ocean View forward.
We’d also like to take a moment to thank Perry Mitchell for his service to the town over the past few years. Agree with his politics or not, Mitchell took his position seriously and tried very hard. Good luck in the future, in all your endeavors.