As the old saying goes: “The pen is mightier than the sword” which was first recorded in the play ‘Cardinal Richelieu’ authored by novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839.

In this statement, it was meant to allude to the fact that a single man with a weapon can cause a lot of death and damage. However, those in power, with the stroke of a pen, can destroy entire civilizations with mere directions and orders to achieve such ends.


Recently Davis Varner, whom is running for Gadsden City Council District 4 seat, brought to our attention a troubling point;

“Rather than place the issue on the city’s regularly scheduled election ballot on August 28th, the current elected officials that represent Gadsden’s legislative branch of government are toying with the idea to hold a special election for a vote on whether to continue with a Board of Education whose members are appointed, or whether to have members who are elected by the people to the Board.

Acting upon such a decision to hold said special election, instead of the logical choice in offering this as part of the already scheduled August 28th elections, could cost the tax payers of Gadsden close to $100k+ to do so.”

You can see this along with a slew of useful information – including Mr. Varner’s plan around enabling better options for our kids and young adults that attend Gadsden City Schools.


Now coming back to initial question posed in the opening paragraph of this post, is the pen mightier than the dollar? As Mr. Varner tenaciously state:


“[T]he only cost for offering this vote to the people on the August 28th scheduled upcoming election would be just the ink in which to print the finalized ballot.”


Further if the route of a special election is sought, then the initial round would cost Gadsden City residents, $35k-40k+. (Per the office of the currently sitting probate judge).

Take this along with – if so chosen by the people – an election is to be held from this point forward. Another round of enabling the next step in a possible special election would drive that number to $70-$80+k.

Finally if such elections are held, and a run-off for any board member seat is required, then a final hit to decide the final elected board seat(s) would then top the bill Gadsden City tax payers would have to pay a staggering $100k or above!


When looking at this from a surface level it is very hard to understand what reason or benefit that a special election would bring to Gadsden residents. Then looking a little deeper, and the Council retains the power instead of allowing the citizens to have their say in the matter. Allowing for “favor based politics” that has too often plagued our fair city, county and state.

This leads me to ask then, what is the value or purpose that the current elected city council brings in a decision that leads to holding a special election? It appears by face-value, such a move pushes the possible voter turn out to be extremely low which in turn benefits keeping the power in the hands of the Council, while taking money away from the people.

With that I would ask each of you, just as Mr. Davis Varner so did in his video, to contact your city councilman and ask them to use common sense. Save Gadsden $100k that could go back into education, infrastructure, or to recruit new business to Gadsden.


I end this post then with this: “Francois, points out: But now, at your command are other weapons, my good Lord.” (from: Who first said ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’?) Use the weapons that are at your disposal, write to your councilman and prove ‘Francois’ correct; you have other weapons as citizens, and show those whom represent you that the pen remains the mightiest of them all!

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