Meet The Candidates Oct. 22
We’ve been working hard on something we feel will be
good for Olive, and the Route 28 corridor, even if it’s
ruffling a few feathers and causing a bit of trepidation.
We’re talking here about a bonafide Meet The Candidates
event set to take place with the Ulster County League of Women
Voters serving as moderators and timekeepers, at the Town
Meeting Hall on Bostock Road, off Route 28, from 10:00 A.M.
to 12:00 noon on Saturday, October 22.
At first, our calls about the event, which took a good bit
of coordination, yielded more worries and “why do that”
comments than enthusiasm. Candidates were worried that they
wouldn’t come off very well in a forum where they had
to answer questions from the public. Candidate supporters
thought that either incumbents would look bad, if they supported
incumbents, or newcomers would be at a loss, if they were
A similar effort in Shandaken (yes, we are equally involved
in two, even more, community’s politics) has proved
even more troublesome, with a number of candidates saying
they might not even show up at a Candidate’s event because
“we don’t need such things,” or “it’s
never fair how people interpret what we’re trying to
say,” or “I sound like I’m mumbling and
that one guy on the other side used to be an actor.”
Our answer to everyone has been simple. We live in a democracy.
Elected officials represent us. As a result, they have to
face the people electing them, and not just one-on-one. Government
takes place in a public forum, with everything an official
does under constant surveillance by the public or, if not
everyone out there, at least we in the press. So no excuses
count: if you’re going to ask for people’s votes,
you have to meet the people.
In the end, Meet the Candidates events could better be called,
in this day and age, Meet the People. Sure, many of our voters
make up their minds without really caring what the other candidates,
or their own, might say in public. But is that really the
way we want to see our democratic traditions evolving?
Come out on the 22nd, if only for a combination of the entertainment
and the chance it gives us all to show how much we care about
our community. Maybe even to show those municipalities around
us how this election stuff can be done right!
While we’ve got your attention, we also want to quickly
answer a complaint we heard recently, and which we’d
thought hard work had gotten us past. Asked whether we were
covering Olive well, and what areas we could improve in, we
were informed that the person asked – a noted Olive
official – said they chose not to read the paper. Why?
Because we also publish the Phoenicia paper.
I know we newspaperpeople are supposed to be thin—skinned,
but I admit that this hurt. All these nights with three hours
sleep, all this combing of news, editing of materials and
endless layout and no one cares?
Or, we later thought, is it simply that people don’t
really like to hear other opinions anymore?
If it’s simply that no one has the time for publications,
that’s another story. But come on… give us a try,
even if it’s only to tell us what we can do better.
Newswise, what with the judge’s ruling about the cell
tower issue and a growing sense of unease that we’ve
been picking up from administrators at our school district
regarding the new town-dominated school board, there’s
much we could be editorializing about in these pages. And
yet we’ll decline, for the moment. We’re less
than a month away from elections and there’s going to
be bigger fish to fry than me, given the nature of reaction
I’ve tended to stir up hereabouts every time I state
We’ll be content, as we said earlier, to simply see
you all on the 22nd!