21 May 2012
Congratulations to Martha Gjesteby, and thank you for standing up to run.
I had opined the other day that this election was a referendum, and I think I was proven right. The powers that be should not misread this election. I have already heard the postulate that Ted simply didn’t get his vote out. Well, Martha can say the same thing – the nice weather and the blissful indifference I also spoke of almost won the day.
However, when one is aware that Martha had no organization, and Ted had poll watchers, a phone calling operation and an apparently frantic effort in the last hour, one must conclude no, the vote was out, is what it is, and the votes were simply not there for the current power structure and political environment. This was evident in discussions I had with numerous people in the weeks leading up to this election and in the responses I received to my e-mail/FB/TU endorsement of Martha – only one anti-Martha response from over two dozen either e-mail repsonses or verbal communications. And people I spoke to were saying the same thing about conversations they had had. The people in the town were clearly disgusted by what’s been going on and they expressed it, either by voting or staying away. Interpret the staying away as you like, but a lot of effort was made by one team to get more people to vote and they did not. I think Coakley syndrome was also involved to some extent – the overconfident sense of entitlement to election victory. But however one spins it and interprets it, Martha won and things need to start changing. Ted, however, at least deserves thanks for his service, whatever the cause of his loss, because the job is, I know, thankless.
It is now time to watch what change comes, and whether attempts will be made to isolate Martha in the manner Karen Quigley was. It has been stated that the expected new chair of the BOS signaled thumbs down when passing Martha’s supporters “on the line” Saturday. I only hope he will show unbiased leadership. Many things are still in place to give concern – the anti-press/public records disclosure policies in town hall, the power of the unelected on some boards, the elected utility boards, the fallout from Cat Dam, inexperienced or lacking leadership, and the behind-the-scenes backbiting. Unfortunately, we must wait another year for a referendum, but I am always optimistic that things will improve. In all sincerity, I supported Diane Kennedy, know her to be smart and a good person, and hope she will take charge.
Congratulations also to Debbie Krupczak. As someone who does public assessing for a living, she was deserving in what, in all honesty, should not be an elective office subject to political whims when only technical expertise is required. I know and like Thom Powers and have no beef with him; he would have served capably as well given his backround and experience, I am sure, but if the rumor was true he was an “E-20 candidate”, then I must also applaud the defeat of that group and of the politicization of even this most un-political of offices, no offense to Thom. The E-20 should be focusing instead on the spin to be served when the town and we non-sewered, never-to-be-sewered taxpayers suffer the wrath of state fines due to the lack of completion of sewer tie-ins in the E-20 support/cocktail party circuit area of town.
And congratulations to my friend Bryan Baldwin on getting elected to the Sewer Commission, hopefully slated for abolition some day. My word of advice, Bryan, is do not let them suck you in.