EDITORIAL Courtesy of The Citrus County
Sumter: let the games begin
Published September 2, 2003
Well, the decision has
been made. Now Sumter County residents will see how it plays out.
The majority of local voters believe Sumter County will
best be served by having their county commissioners elected by all the voters
rather than only the voters within the districts that each county commissioner
That's the result of a controversial referendum question, known as One Sumter,
that appeared on the primary ballot and was supported by voters.
There wasn't much middle ground on this issue as supporters of the ballot issue
and opponents attempted to sway voters to their side. The issue created one of
the strongest political fights in the county.
Supporters have said that at-large voting proposed by One Sumter provides for a
more democratic election, allowing voters throughout the county to elect all
Opponents have said One Sumter is merely a ploy by management of The Villages to
take over control of the County Commission.
We agreed that the One Sumter proposal is a bad idea for Sumter County and gives
too much power to The Villages.
The passage of this issue shows just how much influence Sumter County residents
can expect to content with from The Villages.
Since the initiative will take effect in the 2006 election, it will be county
commissioners Joey Chandler and Jim Roberts who will feel the impact of One
We don't believe that's coincidental either.
Chandler and Roberts have been seen as thorns in the sides of some Village
issues. The two commissioners have been repeatedly criticized and ridiculed in
The Villages media for not supporting various Village agendas.
If One Sumter was actually started as a means of getting back at these two
commissioners and attempting to unseat them, as we believe, then that will be
played out during the 2006 election season.
Our expectation is that sympathetic Village candidates will be after the
commission seats held by Chandler and Roberts.
We also believe that Sumter County's political voice has been changed forever -
and not for the better.