Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Did somebody swat the Gadfly?

Over a month without any new posts . . . what gives? Well, life happened to both of us. If we could get more intelligent-yet-somewhat-polite people to participate we could prevent such sad little gaps, but blogging is apparently not a participatory sport for most of the residents of Die Pfalz, so we'll make do.

Some quick updates:
  • The contest response was underwhelming - one and a half entries. Thank you to the person who submitted a complete entry! Having the community review a single entry is just plain silly, so I'll probably just show it to kT and we'll decide if we like it or not. Again, if there's a particular type of prize that would be motivational, please let us know - but if you do, you'd darn well better submit an entry if we agree to it!
  • I've been avoiding committing to any political candidates yet, because I want to know who's running and make as informed a decision as I can. My biggest personal criterion is transparency in government, which means that incumbents with a track record for secrecy are going to have a harder time impressing me that untried candidates who have no such baggage. I'm sure kT has different criteria than I do, and if either of us endorse any candidates here it will not be a collective endorsement unless we say so. I kinda hope we disagree - the whole point of this blog is to get different New Paltz viewpoints represented.
  • The free pool experiment continues.
  • Woodland Pond will be the subject of a special Village Planning Board meeting on August 24. They want to change some of the requirements for getting a certificate of occupancy.
That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

1 comment:

Martin McPhillips said...

Once upon a time...

Story is implicit to every good piece of writing, blog or otherwise. It's simple enough, but not easy.

I see three interesting people in New Paltz politics right now.

One is the young guy from the college elected to the village board, Brian Kimbiz.

He's interesting because he has one foot out the door, it seems to me, and he isn't sure whether he wants to go or stay. Perhaps he didn't realize that the day-to-day of it would be quite so boring. He is smart and has fresh eyes, the value of which should not be underestimated. It won't last long if he is absorbed into the main political clique or one of its tributaries. I don't think that he knows a blessed thing about local government, but he is obviously a quick study and he'll learn. He should remain as much of an outsider as he can and avoid being tempted into the clique, which will cloud his mind and make him ordinary.

The second very interesting individual is town council member Jeff Logan. He is on an up-tempo search for clarity. He wants to define problems crisply and find clear answers. I don't know how far he'll get with it, but he has already injected a lot more energy into that board and lifted it up, perhaps only temporarily, out of the thick obfuscatory batter of process.

The third individual is village trustee Shari Osborn, who seems to have bounced back up, off the canvas. She drew criticism on herself that was mildly justified, but what happened on top of that was an assortment of political thugs going after her on the pretext of an "insult." Then the "polite" squad demanded to know why she wasn't showing up for board meetings. Instead of quitting she came back and resumed her deliberate, if sometimes infuriating, style of intensive questioning. She trys to get to the bottom of things and doesn't concern herself with being glib.

As I was once fond of saying, lots of people can throw a football forty yards downfield with a good degree of accuracy, but the NFL quarterbacks are the guys who actually get back up after being blindsided by the 320 lb. defensive lineman.