The Calm Before New Storms…
So we’ve made it to the big Independence Day holiday,
albeit against a backdrop of Iranian tumult and enough precipitation
on the home front to make the region look a bit like a northern
rain forest. Hints of things to come in the years ahead? Who
All we know is that we’re in the last news cycle before
we begin covering the biennial local election cycle, which will
likely fill our letters columns and again split our communities,
at least on the surface, for at least the next five months…
Word is that there’s extra attention being paid to this
round of elections from above because of the key state legislative
and gubernatorial and federal Congressional elections next year,
which will set the stage for a nationwide redistricting in 2011.
And yet there doesn’t seem to be much action on the legislative
front here in Ulster this year.
Which means odds are that some of us will soon be turning to
town politics as if it were a blood sport.
What, we ask during this pleasant lull before the storm, might
we be expecting in our two main coverage towns?
In Shandaken, battle lines seem to be drawing in shifting sands.
It’s not exactly competency that the town’s out-of-power
GOP is firing away at Peter DiSclafani’s administration
about, but the legendarily un-sexy issue of process… which
could become a moot question if some major projects, such as
the town’s Phoenicia sewer system, move ahead in the coming
months, and with it a host of other major improvements, both
in the hamlet and beyond.
In Olive, as usual, the problem seems to be a dearth of opposition
candidates in a year where there actually seem to be some key
issues coming to light regarding the town’s selective
enforcement of its zoning ordinances, as well as some behind-the-scenes
nastiness towards those among its residents who the longstanding
administration and its supporters liken as “crazy”
or just plain trouble. Looks like one of these days, that sense
of community, and whether it actually includes all who live
in Olive, is fast coming down the pike as THE big issue no one’s
been facing for too long.
Much as it’s now THE issue in neighboring Woodstock, where
the big battles have all devolved to Democrats fighting Democrats
on who best represents the town’s future, as well as its
So… not a huge election year ahead, but one that’s
already looking feisty enough to give us all the needed pause
for this coming weekend with its mid-summer emphasis on old-style
ideas of real community.
Have a great celebration, and may the rains subside for some
great barbecues and fireworks for all of us!