Favorite Two Weeks
It’s our favorite season… a brittle, cobwebs-clearing
mix of brilliant leaf color, eerily fun Halloween preparations,
frightened anticipation of late-night results come Election
Day, and our local towns’ struggles to put together
spending plans for the coming year, no matter the mysteries
of next year’s revenue streams.
Oo-ee-oo, doth it not a shiver send up one’s spine?
To take local things first, we were all ready to take on our
local governments for their budget proposals… in Shandaken,
for seeming to have forgotten any public workshops on their
spending plan for the coming year; in Olive, for having again
raised salaries across the board without any perceived attempts
to help taxpayers out a bit. But with the latter town having
now brought their budget down at an October 14th session,
and the former set for a workshop next week, we’re no
longer as worried about anyone not taking their budgeting
responsibilities lightly. Nor the public’s expectation
that they somehow give everyone a sense of what to expect,
revenue-wise, in the next 15 months.
We simply urge that town residents make themselves part of
the process and attend all scheduled budget hearings…
to help out, if they can. We’re at a point where any
and all suggestions are seeming to be welcome. For a change.
And regarding the elections?
We like what Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and State Senator John
Bonacic have been doing for us in Albany, by and large. They’re
hard workers and thoughtful politicians and they champion
local causes whenever they get the chance. They deserve the
re-elections they’re about to get.
On the county level, we appreciate Accord businessman Len
Bernardo’s spirited decision to try his hand at government
by vying for the new County Executive’s position, just
as we laud Allan Wikman for having given his long-shot race
all he could, even now that he’s been relegated to a
write in role. But we feel Mike Hein, for all his humorless
elements, is the man for this position, having already done
an admirable job as the county’s administrator in recent
years. We can’t see any reason to try someone new out
at this job when Hein seems the one to get it up and running.
Save the partisan battles over how it SHOULD work for next
time around… or at least some time down the road a bit
further into the future. Similarly, we’ve been watching
Elliot Auerbach’s activities helping revive Ellenville
for some time now and feel he may be the perfect match for
the county’s other new job as Comptroller, especially
given that his GOP opponent, Jim Quigley, was the man who
fought hard and mean to try and keep the position from being
created in the first place. Why trust a would-be destroyer
to create something new and lasting?
As for the big seat being filled down in Washington, we’re
solidly for Obama. From the moment he stepped onto the national
stage four years ago, he’s been extraordinary…
even in his ordinary aspects. It doesn’t make sense
to us to go backwards at this point; the idea of a president
born after Vietnam and the culture wars of the sixties seems
right for this century, for the challenges of the wider world
we all live in now. McCain, in spite of his humor and background,
is a relic of the past. Ever noticed how dated his references
all are? Ronald Reagan left office 20 years ago. It’s
time to move on.
Along that line, the past week’s attempts to make the
socialist elements of modern democracy as frightening as a
Scream mask on Halloween night seem silly to us, especially
at a time when our government is bailing out banks and, on
a local level, a new book has come out heralding this region’s
Civilian Conservation Corps history from Roosevelt’s
New Deal economic agenda 75 years ago. It’s supposed
to be bad to be like Europe? Hey… we live in a society.
From the start, democracies have been as much about shared
social responsibilities as free market opportunities. Just
as it should no longer be acceptable to smear folks for being
liberal, activist, environmentally-conscious, or intellectual,
it’s time we have to start talking straight about the
ways in which all isms come together in a working republic.
As for the other candidate out there, Congressman Maurice
Hinchey… what can we say but that he’s become
a treasure, as reassuring as the melancholic beauty of autumn
Enjoy these two weeks… and see you with the local spin
on all results, the tricks and treats, in our next edition