Thursday, December 27, 2012

The latest travail of a small Southern town: No one wants to be mayor

Read Robbie Brown's NY Times story about Little Mountain, South Carolina, population 255, where no one wants to be mayor.  No one ran for election in November, and even the top write-in candidates have turned down the job.  The job pays just $100/month but carries responsibility for various state and federal grants and a $90K budget.  

Here's an excerpt from the story:
It is not unheard-of for offices to go unfilled in small electorates. In Mount Sterling, Iowa, after none of the 44 residents ran for City Council or mayor last year, the 105-year-old city disbanded. In Lynchburg, S.C., in 2010, a write-in candidate for mayor was reluctantly sworn in. 
But leaders of the Municipal Association of South Carolina could not recall when even write-in candidates had turned down the job.
The association's deputy executive director attributed the problem partly to rural brain drain:
It's the first time we've ever seen this.  A generation of politicians is retiring in many of these small towns.  Young people are going off to college and not coming back to take their place. 

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