By Corporal Gripweed
"Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil."
It's down to two candidates in the undecided District 1 race for Richmond County Commission..On the one hand we have incumbent Matt Aitken, and on the other, challenger Bill Fennoy.
With about a week to go before the decision is made, I do not envy the voters of District 1. How can it be that in one of the most important districts in the county, that includes downtown and the manufacturing facilities downriver, that this is the best that can be done? Both men have proven themselves to be interested in public service.
Fennoy serving on the Coliseum Authority, and Aitken currently serving on the commission, but neither man has a track record of particular achievement to be touted as "praiseworthy" as it relates to public service.
As someone who tries to keep up politically ,while not allowing it to rule my daily life, I have two distinct memories of each man respectively. Fennoy was best known as the man who punched activist Woody Merry in an altercation after a Coliseum Authority meeting. And Aitken was caught off-guard on camera by WRDW's Chris Thomas, concerning a budget vote, making it painfully obvious that he had no clue what he voted to approve. (see video below)
Fennoy? Who stated publicly that the seat belonged to a "black Obama supporter" or Aitken…who failed to show up at ANY Laney-Walker Overlay meetings…and only attended one of at least four debate forums leading up to the general election.
A man who maybe, has trouble controlling his temper and doesn't think before he acts….Or a man who graduated from the "Deke Copenhaver" school of milquetoast politics and allows others to do the thinking for him.
Which leaves us with the question…Who will best represent the interests of District 1?
In my opinion….neither, but the reality is that one of these two men will represent District 1 for 4 years.
One thing is certain. if re-elected Matt Aitken will continue to do as he has in the past... which is to say and do as he's told by the power brokers pulling his strings.
Mr Fennoy may be the more pragmatic choice at this point, as he's never served on Commission and may be just the "roll of the dice" the city needs…because what District 1 HAS had the last few years has been more of a puppet than a leader and an advocate for his constituents.
It's a shame that such an important district is left with such paltry choices….."the lesser of two evils" indeed.**
*Editor's note: Harrisburg neighborhood activist and former Dist 1 candidate Lori Davis has officially endorsed Bill Fennoy in the Dist. 1 run-off