From time to time, issues and personalities relating to the town government in Perryville result in some fairly high intensity debates, sometimes spilling over into the municipal elections.
Sometimes, the fireworks relate to matters of public policy. Often they're more about personality.
This year, however, is one without fireworks, an uncontested mayor's race and a field of three solid candidates running for two seats on the four-member board of commissioners.
That Mayor Jim Eberhardt, who is seeking a sixth term, has no opposition is likely an indication that he already has won the approval of the electorate. Getting elected to office in Perryville is generally a matter of securing a few hundred votes, so if there's anything approaching a groundswell of irritation or dissent, someone with a pretty good shot at winning would probably have signed up to run. It's worth keeping in mind that being mayor of a small town isn't a particularly glorious job. In a lot of ways, it's like being head of a rec council or a homeowners association, insofar as the mayor is, among other things, the chief call taker for the complaint department.
The others running are incumbents Barbara A. Brown, who has been on the town board since 2002, and Raymond Ryan III, who is seeking a second term, as well as newcomer Kenneth Reil, a cook at the Perry Point VA Medical Center, where he has been employed for 13 years.
It's a good field of candidates, and a vote for any of the three can easily be justified. The candidates all have something to offer in terms of perspective and ability.
Given that the town has been running on a fairly even keel, however, argues in favor of sticking with the incumbents. Brown's experience and level-headed approach to municipal business has served the town well. A relative newcomer, Ryan brings experience with the Community Volunteer Fire Company of Perryville, as well as a basic knowledge of the workings of town government.
Reil's candidacy is to be applauded, as he gives the voters a real and solid choice.
Still, as voters can cast only two votes for commissioner, we recommend selecting Brown and Ryan.
No matter what selections are made, however, we strongly encourage voters to turn out at town hall at 515 Broad St. from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to cast their ballots. People have fought and died to preserve your right to vote; the least you can do is exercise it.