Dear Madam Editor,
I read with interest your comments regarding the current First Selectman, and his petitioning as a Third Party candidate. Frankly, I’m not surprised one bit.Â However I think the Town, and certainly his former party members think it’s probably time we move on. I know I do.
The idea of a really good campaign this year intrigues me.
One could postulate that good candidates beget good campaigns, and good campaigns beget good results. While not always the case, it would appear that this year New Hartford will enjoy the rewards of four remarkable candidates for the Board of Selectmen jobs available.
To be sure, the under ticket candidates are just as abundant with good names and candidates with exceptional qualifications, but the under ticket is generally carried by the top of the ticket, and with the Jerram/Gresczyk matchup versus the Webb and Klebart campaign, the people of New Hartford will have choices unlike any in recent memory.
The Webb/Klebart ticket is absolutely stuffed full of passion and commitment fueled with knowledge and compassion for bringing back a more people-centric style of government. Jerram and Gresczyk have combined years of experience and also tons of town project accomplishments under their belts.
What I like about all of these candidates is that, unlike the now third party independent candidate, none of them are running for their respective slots because they need a job. I’m quite sure they all have plenty to do. To me that’s a big deal.
After the Republican Town Committee held its Caucus and stuffed the Senior Center to the gunnels with supporters looking for new leadership, and all but rebuking the incumbent First Selectman, they sent a message to the townspeople that “they were mad as hell and they weren’t gonna take it anymore.”Â I say good for them.
A more sedate Democratic Caucus enjoyed words of empathy and undestanding for the taxpayers, an understanding for the frustration of the last 4 years of backroom deals and misstep after misstep, and the need for a commitment to “full time leadership rather than part time promises.” A compelling argument to be sure.
In the end we now have some new faces with new ideas of what and why things should be done. The winners will be facing the Herculean tasks of figuring out â€˜how’ things can get done.
There are differences in style and in content to be sure, but the fact that New Hartford can take the rest of the summer and fall to learn more about these folks, hear their words, and judge their deeds is a true blessing.Â I urge folks to engage them all and ask the tough questions. There isn’t a shrinking violet among them and I am quite confident they will want everyone’s input.
With any number of significant projects including the completion of the WWTP (wastewater treatment plant) buildout, the biggest public works project in our town’s history, we should be questioning where do we go from here. Land use issues, the ongoing blight questions, economic development, seniors’ needs, public safety, schools, these are all standard fare for election babble. The real issues remain the economy and taxes. As time marches on the town has invested heavily in it Open Space initiatives and school upgrades, some good, some not my cup of tea, but investments made nonetheless. Today the tides have turned and people are facing changes in their lives of monumental proportions including just holding on to a job. I would ask: “How can my local government make sure that the burdens of living here aren’t continually shifted to me personally?”
With the dopes in Hartford and Washington D.C. making living in Connecticut and holding on to a job as difficult as possible, I would look to our local government to provide a place of repose and rest. A safe harbor if you will.
These past 4 years of discontent at Town Hall, the infighting and backroom deals haven’t made anyone feel better about their lives here; in fact, I would suggest just the opposite. Town Hall has been in virtual lockdown for the last 4 years with our current First Selectman holding the keys as Judge, Jury, and Warden.
These new names for leadership of, and for, our town would do well to remember that it’s really hard to hear what the people are saying when you keep the very doors and windows at our seat of leadership closed and locked.
But I think that message has already been received by the respective campaigns. The idea of saving electricity by locking Town Hall is merely an example of how out of touch the leadership has been, and how the lack of customer service has permeated the First Selectman’s Office.
With this new crop of potential Selectmen/Selectwoman as well as the fabulous unsung heroes of the respective under tickets I have every hope that we will be able to finally unlock the doors at Town Hall and get some badly-needed fresh air in that building.
After all, I’m convinced that good candidates will, regardless of party affiliation, bring us good government.
August 6, 2009