Editorial: His time came too early. Who is ready now?

Editorial: His time came too early. Who is ready now?
March 02
05:25 2017

Another community stalwart has died. Walter Marshall, a Forsyth County commissioner, passed away last week at age 74. He was buried Tuesday. The Chronicle had just featured him on our Black History Month page at the beginning of Black History Month.

Mr. Marshall had announced that he was not going to run again for another term. However, no one expected his term to end so soon.

He came to the position in 1997 after the death of Mazie Woodruff, who also died in office at age 74.

Mr. Marshall is a Democrat, so Democratic Party officials will have to replace him soon. But who is ready to take his place?

The person will have to live in the area that will be served, which is District A. District A includes the city of Winston-Salem.

Mr. Marshall has been praised for speaking truth to power, even though he could have been considered a power, without being disagreeable. Who has the courage to operate like that?

Mr. Marshall worked with civil rights groups when he was younger to fight for the rights of people and still worked with the local NAACP branch while he was a commissioner. Who has the tenacity to do that?

Mr. Marshall was a retired teacher who carried the qualities of a teacher, such as concern for others. Who has that quality?

Mr. Marshall worked on a majority Republican Forsyth County Board of Commissioners whose members mostly spoke highly of him. Who can get along well with Republicans?

The Democratic Party will do well to look for someone who fits those qualifications. The area that Mr. Marshall represented holds plenty of black folk who feel that they have been represented well, but worry that with Mr. Marshall gone, they might not receive that level of service.

The Democratic Party needs to remember Mr. Marshall as they choose a new commissioner. His constituents surely will.

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