APPLE RIVER – The gloves were never on in the fight to represent District 10 and the champ is a little disappointed.
With 12 years in politics under his belt, incumbent councilor Ratchford Merriam was hoping for a bit of a fight to reclaim his seat with the Cumberland County Council. Instead, he was acclaimed.
“I guess I was pleased in a lot of ways to serve the people once again… but I was hoping someone would pick up the torch,” he said.
When entering politics in 2000, Merriam said his focus was making sure small, rural communities remained sustainable and to help the citizenry. In that time, his goals have remained the same but his observations reveal an alarming trend.
“How do we get young people involved in, not just politics, but their communities as well? It’s a question on everybody’s minds these days,” Merriam said.
Time, the representative for communities from Lower Five Islands to Apple River said, is a key component to politics and volunteerism, and with fewer people living in rural communities and out-migration, those remaining have less time than before.
“Everybody has their own lives but the population is getting smaller and older at the same time,” he said.
These are a few of the things Merriam will be focusing on in the next four years to come, and he said he’s happy to face them.
“No regrets,” Merriam said. “I found the council we had for the last four years worked phenomenally together and that’s why I ran again.”