Facebook is sending users a personalized “2016 Year in Review” on their news feeds. It has certainly been a year worth reflecting on. Much has happened in American politics this year. However, like former U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill said, “All politics are local.” In Baldwin County, nothing could be further from the truth.
And that is always our focus here at BCLE/The Ripp Report. Understand that we are as determined as ever moving into the new year, and that 2017 holds many surprises for you, our reading, voting citizens. Hang on folks. The Good Ole Boys—or “Goobers” like so many in town now call them—are going to be fully exposed. It is truly a new day.
In August Baldwin County politics saw an upset as big as the later national election for president. Prior to 2016, the City of Fairhope had two mayors. Both of them were goober good ole boys kept in place by a dubious system that allowed the Mayor’s father-in-law to control the counting of the casted votes. When the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office sent their top attorney to oversee the election, it was a game changer. Karin Wilson’s upset of #1 Goober Tim Kant is still resonating with Fairhope’s privileged class. It’s a loud wake-up call to “The Goobers” and it signals the beginning of a new, more hopeful time in Fairhope—one that will be typified by transparency.
Transparency is something that every elected official in Fairhope has stressed. Each of them has insisted on it. Mayor Wilson is building her administration on transparency and openness. It is truly a breath of fresh air. Every one of our elected officials will be held accountable. Moving forward, the City will no longer be the laughingstock of public corruption. Instead, with the help of a vigilant, informed citizenry, we will create a better Fairhope, and in turn, a better Baldwin County.
Now is the time to recall the progress we have made. As you slow down over the next few holy days with family and friends, think of all the new young people who have moved to Fairhope. At the recent tree lighting downtown I noticed hundreds of young couples with young children. These families are the future of our city. Will we make it a place where they can expect a fair hope for happiness?
There is still much work to be done. We have come so far—but there is still a long way to go.
After all, corruption has no place in a civilized society. Politicians who steal from us in the form of rigged elections and public contracts are NOT good people.
Francis Paul Ripp
BCLE/The Ripp Report