Sunday, May 1, 2011

Who am I voting for?

This year's village elections are so interesting that it seems like half the letters in this week's paper were from out of town.  It's not an easy choice, and I haven't actually made it yet, because I don't like closing my mind off to the possibilities.  Voting is an art perfected by procrastination - you never know what may change someone's mind.

I like to ask questions which are unorthodox, because they provide a lot of insight.  Like whether or not you'd be willing to wear a top hat if elected mayor, or whether you support a village militia.  Questions like that tell me a lot about how a candidate views the job, or views the village.  I know that I've only got one vote, but we all know how important one vote is in the Village of New Paltz, don't we?

I know that the clever voters are only voting for one four-year trustee spot, because they don't want their votes to counteract each other.  I can't tell you which pairs of candidates would cause that to happen, but there are plenty of people closer to the pulse of the voters than I.

More and more I am finding that I trust candidates who have lived in New Paltz for more than twenty minutes (that's Dener minutes, each one equals a year).  I don't care if the candidate's family hauled stones for Jean Hasbrouck, though; just because you're related to history doesn't mean that you have any knowledge or appreciation of it.

My bias towards age is in part fueled by two subpar trustees which we've elected in the past ten years.  We've also had plenty of terrible trustees and mayors who were much older, so I don't completely trust my gut on this one.  At least one young candidate strikes me as being completely unaware about village concerns and issues.  Another seems quite the opposite.

I'd like to see the residency requirements monitored and enforced more aggressively.  There's no reason for rumor or expectation of trustees not living in the village; we need a rule that can be tracked and verified so the situation can be dealt with.  I'd like to add to that an attendance requirement.  I don't care if the village board meets twice a year or 200, but trustees should be attendance for the vast majority of the time.

At the Chamber of Commerce forum I came to realize that village politics do not have to be dominated by people with engaging public speaking skills.  This is a small town, so if we choose, we can elect someone who is shy, or suffers from stage fright, or whose reflective personality doesn't lend itself to quick, off-the-cuff answers.  We also don't have to vote for one person because it will improve the chances of someone else being elected.  No, we can actually choose to vote for the people that will put the best foot of New Paltz forward.

Sorry I don't have any endorsements, or even decisions, quite yet.  Elections are just too important to rush.


Martin McPhillips said...

Terence: "Voting is an art perfected by procrastination - you never know what may change someone's mind."

That's a good one. In fact, down the queue here, a couple three weeks back, I said that I was for Jean Gallucci in the mayoral contest, AND that I was not going to change my mind on that.

But, never say never, yesterday I did change my mind, and I withdraw my positive statements about Gallucci.

Brittany Turner said...

I'll post my message here, too.

Tomorrow, May 3, you'll be casting four votes - one for Mayor, two for four-year Trustees, and one for a two-year Trustee. It is my sincere hope that you consider casting each of these votes for the One Community Party - Pete Healey for Mayor, Sally Rhoads and Martin Sherow for the four-year seats, and Stewart Glenn for the two-year Trustee seat. You can do this by voting all the way down "ROW B." There are many other candidates, and I respect and like many of them. It will be tempting to pick-and-choose who you support, but I hope you'll decide to "vote the row."

I'm sure when you first heard of the One Community Party, your reaction was similar to many others. "He's running with who?" or "How did she get involved in that?" It is this diversity and broad representation of key groups in our community that make this slate so strong. They embody many interests and have varied opinions on key issues, yet they are clearly willing and able to work together for the greater good. Their experience and commitment to New Paltz is unparalleled, and I have no doubt that they are fully prepared to serve you well if elected.

Please, if you have not yet taken the time to do so, visit the One Community Party website at Forget what you've heard from others and read about their impressive platform for yourself. If you simply aren't sure why you should support one candidate over another, please contact me to discuss your concerns. I have worked closely with many of these candidates in the past and I am happy to discuss my thoughts on the pro's and con's of each candidate with you. You may also contact the slate directly, as I have given their contact information below.

My greatest fear is that by picking and choosing candidates, or accepting the status quo offered by incumbents, we will enter another 4-year period with a dysfunctional board that simply cannot work together, placing a high value on power and no value on civility, collaboration, and transparency. I believe that the One Community Party is the only group of candidates prepared to offer these principles to New Paltz and begin work on day one, because they're already doing it.

Again, I urge you to contact me if you remain unsure, and please forward this message to others who will be voting tomorrow. I have followed the work of many of these candidates closely over the last 11 years, and have even been supportive of some in the past, but New Paltz is at a point were we do not need to continue repeating past mistakes. The votes we cast tomorrow may be more important than ever.

The Village Election will be held at the Village Firehouse, 25 Plattekill Ave. from noon until 9pm.


Brittany Turner

One Community Party Contact Information:
Pete Healey, Mayoral Candidate - 845-399-3288 -
Sally Rhoads, 4-Year Trustee Candidate - 845-255-0253 -
Martin Sherow, 4-Year Trustee Candidate - 845-775-6030 -
Stewart Glenn, 2-Year Trustee Candidate - 845-256-1945 -

Terence said...

Martin, have you elucidated your reasoning in your own blog? I remember when that used to be the place to read about New Paltz before the owners all but abandoned it.

Martin McPhillips said...

No, I haven't really elucidated it.

In situations where I'm personally involved I try, at long last, to stand back, but I had to withdraw my comments in support.