In the 1980s I moved back to my hometown of Roanoke after a 20 year absence. Some time later after getting settled I learned my fraternity brother Weed Anderson had become mayor of Danville. I called Weed; and after catching up on mutual friends and children I asked, "Weed are you a Democrat or a Republican?" Weed responded, "What the hell difference does it make in local government?" Weed was more prescient than I remembered. (Full disclosure - I later learned Weed's party affiliation when he ran a futile race for the House of Delegates in 21st century southside as a Democrat.)

Now, more than 30 years later, an issue comes up that makes me recall that conversation. The Roanoke City Council proposes to align the city council elections with the highly partisan national elections by moving the election date to November. Roanoke City Council members and their discussions and actions should focus on issues important to Roanoke. Their elections should focus on that as well - not drowned out by national political harangue.

If there are indeed significant savings to be had by moving the elections to November, then move them to odd numbered years to mitigate against loss of focus on local issues. Roanoke City Council should listen to Weed! Patricia White-Boyd, Djuna Osborne, Anita Price, Joe Cobb, Sherman Lea - you can do better. Roanoke deserves better!

JOHN LIGHT

ROANOKE

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