Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Voting with Your Feet

While I was out this past Friday afternoon grocery shopping with my spouse, one of the candidates for City Council stopped by because when you’re running for office in Norwich, and elsewhere I assume, that’s what you do, you knock on people’s doors and more often than not have to explain to them who you are, what office you are seeking (and why) and when the election is. Sometimes the order is different, rarely is the outcome. 

The candidate was even kind enough to leave me a note on his handout to tell me he was sorry he’d missed me. Skippy, my Imp of the Perverse wondered how sorry he might have felt had he actually met me instead.

I’m sure there will be lots more knocking on doors and pieces of (hopefully recyclable) paper with talking points about what we can all agree on are shared issues of concern (I have my doubts on that point already just based on the one handout I have) but there’s a lot of time between now and November for candidate panels and voter forums (what would be wrong with a dodgeball tournament whose proceeds went to a charity? Let’s face it in small-town politics, you better learn to dodge or duck on some of the hotter topics) to help us all gather and nurture good ideas and people of promise who have them. 

I don't think we can have enough good ideas and ways to implement them. I add that latter part because that seems to be where we get stuck and stumble. I've offered very often in this space the point that while hope is a wonderful virtue to have, hope is NOT a plan. I’m listening to everyone seeking office with both my heart and my head-I want passion, but I insist on ability.

What you might wish to do, if I may make a suggestion, is comparison shop (sounds so tawdry and I apologize but still....) and read every newspaper articles you can put your hands to (the Otis Library has great archives of local newspapers in case your puppy has ruined your collection), check out candidate websites, and make it a point to seek out the debates and voter forums between now and November.

You cannot ever make an overly informed choice. It is just NOT possible.
Instead, you can sift through the words and thoughts and look for the ideas that you feel are most worthwhile and the plans for implementing them and then form conclusions on who it is that can get us, as a city, to where you've concluded we need to be heading. This time we have choices and divergent voices to better reflect both the city we are as well as the city we wish to become. 

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten. Just how many more abandoned mills, surrounded by pot-hole filled streets through blighted neighborhoods do you think we need? Yeah, me too.
-bill kenny

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