I’ve spent the last hour trying to wade through the paperwork that’s required to file as a candidate for office in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This stuff is incredibly difficult. Well, to be fair, they’re probably no harder than college applications, but I’m used to those. Not only are there a half dozen of these forms to be figured out, signed, witnessed, notarized, etc., but a candidate is to pay a filing fee of 2% of the annual salary of the office that they wish to hold. In the case of City Council, that’s $200, no small fee. I don’t happen to have $200 lying around. (Which is unfortunate, because that sum is due by Friday at 5:00pm, should I want to run for Council.)
I can make this happen for me. What bothers me is that there are a lot of potentially good City Councilors out there — regular Joes that could have some good input — that simply couldn’t produce $200. It’s a poll tax, of sorts. I guess dealing with candidates takes money on the state’s part, but charging people to run seems like an unfortunate approach.