When an election results in 84 percent of the vote going to one side, it’s safe to consider it an official blow-out. When the election results in residents of a small town giving their overwhelming approval for the town to spend up to $970,000 to build a new police station and town hall, the blow-out is almost a surprise.
But that’s what recently happened in South Bethany.
Though the turnout for the special election last Saturday was smaller than normally seen in the town’s general elections, consider that 173 of the 186 absentee ballots mailed out by the town came back, according to Town Clerk Dee Burbage. That’s a 93-percent voter turnout through absentee ballots, for new municipal buildings in a place that is not their primary residence.
Usually, people only turn out like that when they are adamantly opposed to something, not when they are in favor of spending such a significant amount of town money.
This speaks on two issues — first, that the state of disrepair at the police station and the increasingly cramped conditions in town hall needed to be addressed and, second, that the voters of South Bethany trust the town council to do the right thing for all of them.
For a town long embroiled in rancor and personal agendas amongst residents and officials sometimes outweighing what was best for the town, the current administration appears to have captured the public’s trust.
That is incredibly important.
We applaud the voters of South Bethany for seeing a need to improve the town’s facilities, and congratulate town officials for getting the job done.