Saturday, May 16, 2015

A (Very) Little Knowledge. . . . . And The Follow-up

   Today is Election Day in our town.
We have openings on the Select Board, School Committee, Library Trustee board, Planning Board, and a few others. All of these committees are filled on a rotating basis, so two or three incumbents stay on each election in the hope that the transition will be smooth. This year I’m not so sure. 

          Some of the candidates entered this year’s race with nothing more than the signs they’ve jammed into local lawns and a “throw the bums out” attitude. They appeared out of nowhere, never having attended any meetings during the year to learn the issues or how to deal with them. 

          One candidate proclaimed that we haven’t had a new school in forty years, and once on board, he’d remedy that. In reality, we just opened a new high school three years ago and in fact are in the throes of choosing a school to close due to dropping enrollment.

          Another candidate has promised to put monies from the rental of one of our schools to better use by employing it to repair the windows of an elementary school. In reality, that would be illegal, since the funds are dealt with in two completely different budgets. Oh, and this candidate couldn’t do this anyway since this job belongs to a completely different committee than the office for which they’re running. 

          The scary thing is that these people have the support of a loud group of citizens as ill-informed as they are. Add to that the mysterious disappearance of lawn signs of anyone contesting their favored candidates, and the electronic (and anonymous) media smear campaign against their opponent this week. 


          All this idiocy for positions that are unpaid or might as well be, the reimbursement is so small. 

          If I weren’t so worried about what might happen to our well-run town, I’d be happy that the election will be over today.

Next Day Addendum
       Unfortunately, mass hysteria won some of the day. 
      The gentleman (ahem) who missed our small local paper's deadline for candidate statements and then stormed in, pounded the counter and screamed at the editor, was the winner of one contest.  You'll recall he was the candidate who proclaimed that what our town needed was a new school - apparently unaware that our enrollment is plummeting.  
      He's also promised to rid our schools of Common Core, the set of educational standards set by the federal government. The next few years should be interesting as students attempt college acceptance from a high school that will have lost its accreditation. 
       At least our Selectboard will still be manned by knowledgeable and sane people, and the police will get their new station and no longer need to wet-vac their leaky basement.
      The cliff edge is looming, but not quite as close as it could be. 



  1. Government is run by law, and I'm sure you have legal counsel for your boards, and regular audits by the state. I find these the safeguards to the attempts of those of little knowledge. On the other hand, it can be very stressful and barely amusing. I find my involvement in local government one of the things I can seldom write about, as tempting as it is.
    All of the above notwithstanding, please keep us posted.

  2. Fortunately, most of my readers are from outside our town!

  3. Politics has become such a nasty game, I remember civility or am I just dreaming.

  4. It does seem somehow that we've moved into an era where just being loud and obnoxious is seen as sufficient -- no need to actually educate yourself about issues.

  5. Ah,yes, the uninformed want their day in the limelight. Hope your town has enough bright and caring people to offset the loonies.

  6. That is the weirdest thing. There must be a reason why it's done that way, I suppose.

  7. If I could cast a vote in your town, I would! I'm hoping that reason carries the day. Politics! Sheesh! :-)

  8. Sometimes total eggheads decide to run for things.. then we find out how many other eggheads are out there. Fortunately there are regulations set up that prevent some of these wild ideas from occurring.

  9. Elections are such a scary process. When I hear why someone is voting for a particular candidate, I can only shake my head. Perhaps more people like you ought to throw your hats in the ring.

  10. I think those people waving their signs at cars could cause an accident. They do that here, too.

  11. Let's hope sanity prevails and the loud uninformed are kept out of office.

  12. this is what will be the downfall of this country if we, as a people, don't get our heads out of our asses. ignorant fools who think they know everything running for office and using dirty tactics to win.

    1. So true, Ellen. Thank heaven my kids are old.

  13. They say the squeaky wheel always gets the grease...I think that goes for bullies and blow hards, also. I'm sorry this has happened in your town...surely true hearts and sound minds will win the day.


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