OPINION: Women Make Life Better
KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor
The outcome of the recent Cannon County General Election will soon bring about the absence of any female representation on two of the most important boards which govern activities in the county.
Shannon Davenport came up short in her bid for re-election for the District 2 school board seat, falling to Nathan Sanders.
Cathy Hyatt decided to not seek re-election to the District 3 seat and that position will be assumed by Bruce Daniel as of Sept. 1.
The school board will not, for at least the next two years, have a woman as one of its five members.
There has not been a woman serving on the Cannon County Commission since September of 2010. Rebekah Parton decided to not seek re-election in Commission District 4 that year to run for county executive. Karen Ashford was not re-elected by District 2 voters.
Parton made a bid for the District 4 seat formerly held by Joe Wimberly in the recent election, but lost out to Tony Neal, who has been serving since Wimberly’s death.
I don’t think a person’s gender makes any difference when it comes to how well they govern, but I do believe there are many issues on which women can provide a perspective that men would not give.
Men are more likely to look at matters from a business aspect. Women are more apt to view them from a societal and family standpoint.
Cannon County and Woodbury governments benefit from having in key positions women such as Barbara Parker as Director of Schools, Charlene Odom as Woodbury Town Manager, Susan Melton as General Sessions Judge, Debbie Morris as Register of Deeds, Lynne Foster as Circuit Court Clerk, Sue Patrick as an Election Commissioner and Dorinda Mankin as Administrator of Elections. Dotty Duggin, Lois Larimer, Joanne Davis and Faye Knox are Woodbury alderwomen.
Several local community organizations are also headed by women or have them serving in key positions. Connie Rigsby runs the Cannon County Senior Center, Lisa Baird the Cannon County SAVE Domestic Violence Assistance Program, Rita Allen the Adams Memorial Library, Penny Daniel the Veterans Service Office, Carolyn Motley heads the Cannon County Chamber of Commerce and Susan Lankheet is coordinator of the Cannon County Child Advocacy Center.
Five of the seven principals of our schools are women.
Plus, there is a long list of women who either own or run local businesses, or perform important functions in their operations. The same can be said for nearly every local government office.
When I was younger women were fighting for equal rights. They have made a lot of strides in that area. While our local governments do not need a battle of the sexes, we would all benefit from a balance of the sexes in terms of public service.