This is the last Saturday before local elections on Tuesday and for many, not just those running for office, they can't get here soon enough. I don't know how it is where you live, but around here, we go for months where few, if anyone, seems to give a rat's hindquarters about who is running for what and then BAM! (that was my Emeril impersonation and if you close your eyes, we could be brothers) fevered interest. Okay, that may be a slight embellishment (about the interest, not the resemblance to Emeril), but we are talking about poltics, after all.
I attended the second of the two Norwich mayoral debates sponsored by one of the local newspapers this past Tuesday evening (I've long since made up my mind, as you realized at the time I did because, motormouth that I am, I told you) which attracted, maybe a hundred people. The earlier debate, a couple of weeks back was held on a night when we actually had snow on the ground (not much) and I assumed the weather at the time had served as a disincentive for what looked like about the same number, maybe even the same people.
It wasn't snowing Tuesday and it wasn't doing anything but getting and staying dark Thursday when, for about 45 minutes, first the four Mayoral candidates went at it again, followed by a session with the 867 people (it seems) seeking to be City Council members (we actually have six seats on the Council, for two years at a pop with the Mayor being a four year term) answering questions with the ten people seeking one of the nine seats on our Board of Education being decorative, though that might not be my first best choice of descriptives.
I'm kidding about the number of Council office-seekers (it's actually twelve, from three different parties), but I'm giddy with the luxury of choice because in some previous elections, most (but not all) before charter revision, I could 'take it or leave it' and that was my choice. But there were LESS people in the audience on Thursday than had been there on Tuesday. Waddya think? World Series fans? Maybe not and that concerns me because a lack of familiarity with the candidates and their positions on some critical issues can turn Tuesday's Voter into Wednesday's Child very quickly.
Meanwhile, delivered to my house yesterday because I'm a registered Democrat (with both the AKC and Dollar Tree Stores everywhere) is a super deluxe large size sort-of postcard, with color pictures on both sides. I suspect the purpose was to impress me but that missed (sorry). One side has the mayor of a neighboring town, extolling the virtues of one of the people seeking to become the Mayor of Norwich, assuring me this man "is the best choice for Mayor of Norwich."
Obviously, I disagree-but more to the point, how would the mayor of another city know who is best for Norwich's top job? Is there a pageant of some kind and the neighboring elected officials judge various categories? No swimsuit competition, please. (Judge 1: "He appears to be wearing a full length fur coat under his bathing suit." Judge 2: "He's not wearing a bathing suit.")
In the photograph on the large card, the other town mayor doesn't even have his tie straight and his "best choice for Mayor of Norwich", standing right along side of him, apparently didn't notice-and neither did the photographer. (Oh yeah-right. Now you, too, see it. Please.) How ironic is it if the election ends in a tie? But wait, there's more....
The other side of the card doesn't have a happy, smiling, two-shot, not by a long shot. It doesn't even have a tie, unless you consider a turtleneck a tie, and then I think you're wrong. It has a picture of the First Selectwoman of another neighboring town, telling me she's worked with the candidate "for many years".
I know from newspaper stories she's been knee deep in some pretty spooky situations, but the person she's endorsing after 'many years' of working together has only been on the Norwich City Council for four years, so 'for many years' is a relative term (?) She certainly doesn't look like any of my relatives but I haven't seen most of them 'for many years' (if you know what I mean-that was my Elissa B impersonation. Needs work).
I have two questions in connection with the endorsement postcard: who are the people in the picture frames behind the mayor of not exactly simpleton and what does the itty-bitty oval in the bottom left hand corner say anyway? And it better NOT be 'Support Vision Research.'