Dear Southern Shores Beacon Readers:
Last Saturday I reported upon my candidacy for the Southern Shores Town Council, along with my two opponents’, in a blog post that led with the news of former SSCA President Rod McCaughey filing for Mayor. I promised in that post to issue a statement this week. This is that statement.
(See The Beacon, 7/17/21.)
I started The Beacon in April 2018 because I did not believe people who live and work, and otherwise have an interest, in Southern Shores were being adequately informed by the then-Town Council or the then-Town Hall. I believed the information flow between the Town government and the public was insufficient, and that transparency in government action was often lacking.
I also strongly believed, and still do, that the public deserves a press watchdog to ensure accountability by local government officials in both their decision-making and behavior and in the processes by which these officials govern.
While I would like all voters to be informed about this year’s Town Council race, I have a strong bias in favor of one candidate. I cannot be truly objective in evaluating the candidates, nor do I wish to use The Beacon as a political tool for myself. It exists because of me, but it also has its own identity.
For these reasons, I will not be covering the Town Council election in The Beacon.
You will be able to learn about my candidacy and me through a campaign website, gatherings at which you may meet me and ask questions that are important to you, a public debate with my opponents (assuming a COVID-19 resurgence does not force its cancellation), and other communications.
My opponents will similarly manage their campaigns as they see fit. I will not run a negative campaign and seek to discredit them or their candidacies. Anyone who runs for public office in order to represent the interests of a constituency is to be commended.
I do anticipate, however, reporting in The Beacon, whenever possible, upon events involving the two mayoral candidates, Mr. McCaughey and Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Morey, and making an endorsement of one of the candidates. I also aspire to sending each a questionnaire from The Beacon to solicit his/her viewpoints.
We have many issues to address in Southern Shores as the town continues to grow and change and our quality of life is sometimes challenged. I will not politick about them here, but I hope you will join me in conversations elsewhere during the three months leading up to Nov. 2.
Thank you very much.
Ann G. Sjoerdsma, ©7/23/21