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M-DCs commissioners must mentor tomorrows leaders today

caines | 11/15/2012, 5 a.m.

The apparent rift between County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson and Candidate Keon Hardemon that surfaced during their appearance on Michael Putneys Sunday morning news show on the eve of the elections may have served as a precursor of whats in store on the local political scene. Talented but unseasoned candidates will begin to emerge with the hopes of successfully challenging veterans that know their way around the County and how to win. While voters have had their say and have now determined that county commissioners can only serve a maximum of two four-year terms. Yes, the times they are a-changing. What this means is that there will be more opportunities in just a few years for younger minds, often unseasoned in the ways of local government, to made a viable run for a county commission post. We can anticipate seeing an increase in these opportunities and therefore more up-and-coming candidates, like Hardemon, coming to the forefront. They will not have to run against long-entrenched incumbents that have the war chests and backing of a larger constituency of citizens and business owners. Edmonson herself has said that her concern is that as more county commissioners are termed out and leave the board, that there will one day be a majority of members who lack the skills needed to ensure effective governing. We believe that Edmonson may indeed be on to something here. But instead of bemoaning a sad and tragic future where Miami-Dade County, itself larger than over a dozen states, may fall into a state of lethargy and ill-prepared commissioners, maybe the thing to do now is to begin identifying and then mentoring potential replacements. County Commissioners like Dennis Moss, Barbara Jordan and Audrey Edmonson have been in the game for sometime and each is political astute enough to recognize talent. We urge them to start working with and talking to younger Black men and women who may be interested in leading their community at the county commission level. We cannot afford to lose these seats and therefore our voice in Miami-Dade County because we remained idle instead of preparing for war in the time of peace.