Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Why I Like Mike
This was my nominating speech for Mike Nielson at the Democratic caucus.
My name is kt Tobin Flusser and tonight I have the honor of nominating my friend Mike Nielson for Town of New Paltz Highway Superintendent.
Let me tell you why I like Mike.
Last winter, Mike told me he intended to run for Highway Superintendent. At that time I knew very little about the job and wondered why Mike would consider this a goal to aspire to.
Looking back, less than a year later, I have to ask: who would have thought that we could all get so excited about a Highway Superintendent candidate? Who would have thought we all would know so much more about what the job entails and how significantly the highway department impacts our daily lives?
Mike made that happen. He has energized and informed the public about the vital role the Highway Department plays in so many areas - and he has clearly outlined its specific impacts on our economy, on sustainability, and on recreation in our community.
For the past few months, we have been reading in the newspaper and hearing from many of our friends about Mike’s accomplishments. And from Mike himself we have learned his clearly articulated goals for our Highway Department.
Mike grew up in New Paltz and his wife Nikki hails from Gardiner. They are raising their adorable daughter Norah, a fifth generation Nielson, only four doors down from Mike’s great grandfather’s original house on Plains Road.
I like Mike because he is a life-long resident who knows our roads well — as a driver, a runner, and a cyclist. Our community is so blessed that someone with these varied perspectives and knowledge of our roads is running for this position. Plus, Mike is an approachable guy with a can-do attitude who has pledged to work towards providing pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle-friendly sustainable roads in our community.
Mike is a courageous person who has already served New Paltz for many years in our volunteer fire department. He is also a successful local business owner. I like that Mike will take a balanced approach to infrastructure challenges with a focus on the environment and our local economy. I believe he will be a great leader for the employees of the highway department, which is one of the largest in our town.
Mike has a wealth of experience directly relevant to running a Highway Department. Through his work in his own business which he has appropriately offered to set aside for the duration of his term, his volunteerism, and his athleticism, he offers a unique combination of skill sets that are truly suited to the job he is seeking.
The fact that he is a parent, a local business owner, a life-long New Paltz resident, a firefighter, a union member, a homeowner, a taxpayer, a runner, a cyclist, a civic volunteer, and a person who is concerned with both our environment and our local economy, proves he is exactly what we need in a Highway Superintendent.
Our community needs intelligent, thoughtful, and visionary leaders to meet the specific challenges facing New Paltz. Mike Nielson will be such a leader and because he possesses the strength of character and all the necessary qualities and skills needed for this position, he will be an exceptional Highway Superintendent when elected.
It is time to rethink the road ahead.
Vote for Mike Nielson on Tuesday November 3rd!
Gadfly opinion by kt tobin at 10:15 PM