Monday, December 10, 2007

A Post Mortem of an Election

"To thine own self be true...And it must follow, as the night the day, thou can not then be false to any man." Hamlet

For one brief shining moment in Flemington we had a highly productive council, no partisanship. In the absence of party quibbling, this past year was a very productive one. The atmosphere on the council was cordial and trusting. I must say the discussion I witnessed on the stacking ordinance led by Councilman Mark Legato was a work of art, a picture perfect debate about the problem of overcrowding among the council members, the citizens, the police chief and the fire inspector. Very cooperative with no self - interest. I was impressed.

All that, I fear, has ended with the last election when the Democrats fielded candidates to challenge those Republicans up for election, including my husband, Phil Greiner. Even though political parties do what they do, a lack of wisdom notwithstanding, Democrat council members, Mark Legato and Brooke Liebowtiz, as far as I am aware had no ax to grind with Republican candidates Erica Edwards, John Gorman and Phil Greiner. In fact, after working with Ms. Edwards, Mr. Gorman and Mr. Greiner this past year, I would expect Mrs. Liebowitz and Mr. Legato to have gained a sincere respect for them and how hard they worked for the people of Flemington. So it is disturbing that these Democratic council members actively campaigned against their fellow council members for the only reason but to get rid of them because they are Republicans.

After the 2006 election, Mrs. Liebowitz and Mr. Legato made public comments for several weeks about how they felt they had been personally attacked and how unfair they thought the Republican campaign had been. Sitting in the privileged position I had as wife of a candidate, I can say that the recent election was conducted with unusual political sensitivity to Mrs. Liebowitz and Mr. Legato’s complaints. Additionally, dignity and courtesy was extended to them as minority council members. This departing council saw no party line or block voting, no out muscling of the minority, no political gamesmanship. It exuded a cooperative spirit; working out the best solution to some of the very serious problems our Boro faces now, rather than pushing through an agenda as newly elected Democrat Linda Mastellone indicated was the intent of the new Democratic majority. This past year virtually all the votes were unanimous. All the crucial votes were unanimous. So exactly what were the “Dems” not getting that they wanted?

Flemington is a small hamlet whose residents over the years grow to be a loose knit family. Flemington is not center stage for national or even state politics. What we do to each other here is personal. What precisely was the political gain exchanged for the loss of this cordial, productive council --- re-opening those old political wounds the council had worked to heal this past year? How is that good for Flemington? What kind of goal and leadership is that? It bears repeating-- it is hard to understand why these particular Democratic council members worked to unseat their cohorts for any other reason than to get rid of them because they were Republicans. That was the reward for their efforts to turn a corner on the disadvantages of partisan politics and heal the wounds from the last election. There is a price for such shallow perspectives. My husband, Phil Greiner, who was unseated, offered among other things much needed financial expertise that is now lacking on the council. More important, the trust and enthusiasm once permeating the council is damaged. What happened here? Why did Councilwoman Liebowitz and Councilman Legato throw down the gauntlet?

Furthermore, if the new majority acts as the proxy voice of the Democratic leadership instead of keeping true to their own individual consciences, they would be adding insult to the already injured council that was non partisan in action. They would be betraying the voters who have twice declined the party leader’s bids for re-election. Despite Ms. Mastellone’s ambitions, there is no Democratic mandate from the voters for major change in the Boro as a result of this very close race. One either serves the party or the people. One can seldom do both.

Save signing a formal peace treaty on the USS New Jersey, I don’t know what more the Republicans could have done this past year and in this past election to demonstrate that they had laid down the weapons in their arsenal for the sake of the people of Flemington while at the same time addressing the previous complaints of their fellow Democratic council members. That showed respect. Their efforts made no impression evidently. Nothing good comes from breaking truces.

I believe we “Flemingtonians” have lost our little bit of time in Camelot because unlike this past year when there were no Democrats or Republicans, just council members who worked for us, we once again have the Democrats and Republicans.

Stay tuned.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Joan:

Let me understand: You're upset that during an election year the Democrats had the audacity to run a full slate of candidates for public office? Are you suggesting that the Democrats should have cut a back room deal with the Republicans agreeing not to field any candidates to challenge current council members? Are you actually implying that the residents of Flemington should not have had a choice in deciding who will be their Council members this year? From your post, it appears you are.

Joan, as you know, I greatly enjoyed working with both Republicans and Democrats this year, and I’m happy to single out your husband as someone with whom I have significantly enjoyed working alongside this past year. And you know what? I would have greatly enjoyed working with him again this year too. But it’s not up to me or Mark to decide whether or not we want to work with a particular councilmember. It’s up to the voters, plain and simple.

You mention not once, but three times, that the decision to run Democratic candidates against the Republican candidates was “disturbing” and “hard to understand”; the equivalent of "throwing down the gauntlet." Your contention that Mark and I supported running a full slate of candidates because we had an “ax to grind” or that we wanted to throw “down the gauntlet” is extremely insulting to me and flies in the face of all the hard work I personally have done over the past year to build bridges between our two parties. You of all people should know how unbiased and un-political I’ve been since elected to office. Ask any Republican currently on Council and they will say the same. I am truly sorry that the friendliness and cooperative spirit you and I once shared has been tarnished by your version of the events of the past election.

Please share with me and your readers why you think the electoral process should have been conducted differently in Flemington this year than it is conducted in every other community around this great democratic country of ours. Or is it only in years your husband is running for office that you support subverting the political process and making backroom deals to allow your husband to run unopposed?

I realize that during campaigns emotions can run high. I know; I’ve been there. Both my husband and I have boundless empathy for what candidates and their spouses and families go through during election cycles. So I do feel for both you and Phil and hear your hurt and anger over the outcome of the election. However, when deciding to run for office, a candidate takes a risk that he or she may lose. To expect a “free pass” to re-election without having to campaign against an opponent who shares different views is not the way the American democratic process works. If I were to choose to run again, I fully expect to have to campaign to let the voters to decide if I’m worthy of their faith and confidence or if they prefer my opponent. I certainly would not be angry with my Republican council colleagues and blame them for my loss if they ran a candidate against me. I don’t know why you think your husband should be held to a different standard than to which I would hold myself.

We live in a democracy where political parties field a slate of candidates, share their viewpoints with voters, engage in free debate, and then let the people decide. It is unfair and undemocratic of you to slam Mark and me for adhering to the very democratic principles on which this country was founded just because we supported a full slate of candidates for public office, leaving the choice for council up to the people to decide. What on earth is wrong with that?

Personally Joan, I have to add that you have known me for a year, as has your husband. If you want to disparage me in a public forum, be more specific. How have I been non-partisan? How have I done things against you personally? What have I done wrong? Tell me, enlighten me. You ask that we keep true to our own conscious. If you’re going to blog despairingly on me about my keeping true to my conscious, please call me before posting unflattering things about me. Because what you are saying is really off the mark and I am surprised and dismayed that the Courier-News is allowing you to have this unbiased forum. You, and anyone else who reads this blog, is always free to call me and I would be more than happy to share my voice on issues in Flemington politics. My number is 908-806-2882.

Regards,

Brooke Liebowitz

Linda in NJ said...

Joan Greiner paints an interesting picture. First, it’s the one of perfect harmony and balance of the Flemington Borough Council circa 2007.

Second, in the election of 2007, here come the evil, divisive Democrats again. They are out to “get rid” of the Republicans just because they are Republicans.

It’s an interesting picture, but it’s wrong.

She neglects the vitriol of the 2006 campaign, in which, wrongly, the Republicans accused the Democrats of insider influence and corruption. She neglects the years previous, when the Republican majority refused to even entertain any Democratic ideas. She neglects the results of this one-sided power-grab: a Council that ignored many of our problems that we are only now dealing with.

She also neglects the real facts of the 2007 campaign, which she admits was “conducted with unusual political sensitivity.” She accuses us of wanting to “get rid” of the Republicans. When and where did we ever say that? I will not allow an unsubstantiated accusation to stand. We ran a positive and issue-based campaign. We selected a few key ideas and proposed those to the voters. Our website, www.flemingtonforward.com lays it all out. Don’t believe me? Judge for yourself.

Never in our literature or on the campaign trail did we every say “Vote for us because we are Democrats!” We walked door to door merely asking people to consider our platform for the future and then choose which ticket was the best. In fact, we didn’t even mention our party on our literature. This, if anything, was upsetting to some voters. They wanted to know our party (and the Republicans, too).

We are accused of “opening old political wounds.” How? I think it is because we dared mount a campaign in an election year—Democrats actually running Democrats for open seats. To her this was done for “political gain.” Please explain to me how actually offering the people of Flemington a choice for council members is playing politics? How is it disturbing the peace of our lovely community? If Joan actually believes that no one should have run against her husband, perhaps a democracy is not her preferred form of government.

As for me, I am humbled by the outcome of this race and thankful to the people of Flemington. I am looking forward to my very first year as a public official. I am looking forward to working with everyone on Council.

Linda S. Mastellone

Courier News Flemington blog said...

Well it is heartening to see some response to my post on Flemington elections. That is what this forum is, a discussion. In an earlier post, “Why Don’t They Ever Write Back?” you will see I have covered the nature of this blog and the type of responses that are welcome. The ones posted are thoughtful and show passion. And that is good.

Some of the comments I think are a tad off base. That’s OK too. But there is one point that is egregiously out of line. At no time did I, or anyone I am aware of, ever suggest that the Democrats not field candidates. I do not know where this is coming from but it is unequivocally false, absolutely incorrect. And I don’t know exactly where all these back rooms are where Republicans supposedly have these fantasy discussions.

The point of my post was that I find it disturbing when council members personally and actively campaign against their Republican cohorts after working so productively with them the last year…this a very different ball of wax than suggesting that Democrats not put candidates in the race.

I hope this is point is clearer now.

Linda in NJ said...

Joan wrote:
"I find it disturbing when council members personally and actively campaign against their Republican cohorts"

You are still wrong. Why shouldn't Brooke and Mark campaign for me? They have the right to their opinion. Even the mayor expressed his support of Phil, Erica, and John, both on a mailer and while he was in a council meeting. Was Mayor Hauck wrong by supporting his candidates?

The answer is no. He has the right (and obligation as a citizen) to support whomever he wants. And so do Brooke and Mark.

They never derided their Republican co-councilmembers on the campaign trail. They were always professional. They merely expressed their preference.

That's what we do in a democracy.

Courier News Flemington blog said...

Linda,

You are are taking me out of context. Of course generally speaking people can choose their candidates. But we had a special case, a special moment here in Flemington that I have actually never seen before, an exceptionally productive, balanced council.IN THIS CONTEXT I am asking why the Dems actively worked to dismantle it? I made my case. Make yours. Beyond the stereotypical flagwaving I have thus far seen, what specifically regarding Flemington makes it appealing for the Dems to dismantle Boro council, especially "Dem" members personally campaigning against the people who listened to their previous complaints and worked this past year to address them? What specifically will be better under the auspices of the new council and can I hold you to it, Linda?

My theory is that the Dems by just unseating one of the three Republican candidates got a sitting majority on Boro council. Then as you said upon your victory, they can do the things the Dems want to do. So to me it was not about voters choosing a platform. There was virtually no Democratic platform offered or to be debated. This election was about POWER. And I fear that very much.

BTW, I recall you wrote a letter to a local paper dressing down Mayor Hauck for supporting the other candidates..."He is my mayor too". Now he is doing his civic duty. Which is it? It seems you are playing both sides here.

Courier News Flemington blog said...

Another thought, Linda. This morning I was messaged that the new Democratic leadership is not keeping true to their promise to Mayor Hauck to honor the reappointments to the Planning Board. So a Republican member was offered an alternate spot instead. Is this true? If so, it seems that my fear about power plays rather than the high-minded American voter choice argument you offer seems on track. These types of maneuvers will surely end the Flemington Pax Romana and usher in a Democratic Dictatorship. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Tell me I am wrong and that this tension and divisiveness will not reign here.

This is some of what I mean by mean about "throwing down the gauntlet"? People can do this even if they are smiling at you and being professional. As you can tell by my writing style, I go for being forthright, no smiles just the bottom line.

Linda in NJ said...

First, I am not going to publically comment on what may or may not happen with appointments to the Planning Board. So, you are going to have to wait until decisions have been made before I reply to that.

Second: How can I take you out of context when I quote you directly? No matter.

You wrote:“IN THIS CONTEXT I am asking why the Dems actively worked to dismantle it?”

Yes, in 2007, Council worked well. I don’t understand the “dismantle” argument. Phil, John, and Erica were not entitled to those seats in 2008. They had to earn them. Dismantle means to take apart—your assumption is that Council 2007 was a solid structure. It wasn’t. No government body ever is. Each election brings change.

I thought that I would make a good candidate, so I chose to offer myself to the people of Flemington for one of those seats. Brooke and Mark chose to support me.

You assume that I will be the impediment to the “special moment.” You base your assumption on the statement I made on Election Eve—looking forward to actually making good on my campaign promises. Shocking! That’s all you base it on.

You think I did this for “power”? Really? Why did Phil allow himself to be appointed last year and to run for election this year? Power? Of course not. He did it because he feels that he can serve the people of Flemington. He made his case. Erica and John did too. And they won, handily. I congratulate them.

"What specifically will be better under the auspices of the new council and can I hold you to it, Linda? There was virtually no Democratic platform offered or to be debated.'

I ran on a platform:

www.flemingtonforward.com

We sent out mail pieces specifically outlining those proposals. Just because we didn’t have a debate didn’t mean the issues weren’t out there.

One clarification: I dressed down the mayor in that letter to the Democrat because he made that endorsement while Council was still in session—when he was in his public role. He was wrong to make that statement at that time. But I have no problem with him supporting his candidates off the clock. It’s his right and obligation. Do you agree? Should Mayor Hauck have recused himself from making any endorsement? If Brooke and Mark were wrong, then surely Mayor Hauck was, too?

Mark Legato said...

Joan;

I have been following your blog on this last election and am rather disappointed in your unfounded, short-sighted accusations.

Let me start by saying that I am proud of the job that I have done on council over the last year, as is Brooke and the other members that I serve with.

Just because a group of people work well together, does not mean that they are entitled to that council seat. It does not mean that Brooke, I, or anyone else could not, or should not support a candidate or group of canddidates with similar values or ideas.

It had absolutely nothing to do with dismantling council, or injecting partisanship into politics.

I am not sure that you know Linda Mastellone personally, or Loretta Borowsky for that matter. I would encourage you to do so before you begin with your accusations.

Linda is a very hard worker with good ideas. She will make an excellent council person. She will continue to work with the other 5 members of council and the mayor, regardless of party affiliation, for the better of the borough. Loretta Borowsky, had she won, would also have been an excellent addition to council.

The fact that Linda won, as did Erica Edwards, and John Gorman for the republicans does not mean an automatic end to your elected government body putting the borough ahead of politics. That may have used to be the practice.

I have always striven to not be partisan, as has Brooke and Sandy Borucki. Linda, Mastellone will continue that tradition that the Democrats began. Local politics is not the place for partisanship. It is where good people work hard, together, for the good of the borough. It was that spirit that carried the day last year. It is that same spirit that will continue to be practiced.

The only difference between this year and last is that the people of Flemington judged all 6 people running for 3 council seats and made their decision at the ballot box. 5 of the 6 persons who served last year are returning. The council has not been dismantled, nor are we a divided group.

I hope that Phil continues to be active in the community in whatever capacity he chooses.

With respect to your other allegation, it is inappropriate to discuss appointments before they are made. However, I can personally assure you that we have tried very hard to work with mayor Hauck and listened to his ideas and recommendations with respect to the appointments.

I am proud and humbled to have been elected, and to have the opportunity to serve the people of Flemington. I am likewise proud that the Republicans refrained from the vitriole that marked the campaign when Brooke and I ran. Both sides ran on ideas this last election. The Democratic platform was published at www.Flemingtonforward.com for all to see and to make a determination on.

I supported the Democratic slate as did Brooke. The Mayor supported the Republican slate. We campaigned for the Democrats and Mayor hauck capmapigned for the Republicans. In additon, many people, from all walks of life gave selflessly of their time to all of the candidates, Repubican and Democratic.

This was not peronsal against Erica Edwards, John Gorman, or your husband Phil. My ideas and views more closely jived with the Democratic candidates. I supported them. Erica Edwards and John Gorman won, as did new comer Linda Mastellone. When he served on Council, Phil worked hard, followed his conscience and worked withthe rest of us. Now that Linda is on council, she deserves the same opportunity as did Phil. I know that she will work tirelessly for the borough and listen with respect to all ideas and opinions, regardless of party affilitation.

All 6 members of council, along with the mayor, will continue to work together. Again, local government is not a place for party ideology. The goal is to work for the better of the Borough. The people of Flemington have spoken. They will speak again next year, and in every subsequent election.

I encourage everyone reading this to get involved locally and, if anyone wants to contact me to feel free to do so.

Mark Legato
Flemington Borough Council

Courier News Flemington blog said...

Linda,

I appreciate your thoughtfulness here. And you seem to care and that’s good too. But I ask you to be careful enough to consider my entire position. My position is a bit more complex than a single quote here and there can capture.

You are arguing from the point of view of a candidate. I am not trying to make you defend your right to run. That is a given. From the point of view of an observer/ Flemington resident I would have liked to see this council finish some important projects it had started and let it mature a bit. I am entitled to my opinion. If I had political aspirations, I would not have run against this particular council. Were I a member of the opposition, I would not campaign against proven highly productive council members in this tiny Boro. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I could be wrong but from where I sit Sandy pretty much sat out the campaign. I thought that was wise.

Regarding the “Dem” platform I did not think it offered real substantive issues that offered meaningful choice as opposed to some ideas here and there such as WI FI. To me this not the stuff of debates. Immigration/overcrowding issues are the stuff of debate, things that will change the course of Flemington, my life here. Presenting differing ideas of this nature is what choice is about to me. That is what a platform entails to me.

I will repeat this argument one last time…to me this election is about power. The “Dems” understood, you included, that all you had to do was unseat one “Rep”candidate and the “Reps” are rendered impotent. Rendering them impotent was more a political an act of war than anything I saw in 2006. This was done to a peaceful council whose Republican members this year and in this campaign catered to complaints made by the Dems about…. Well, acts of war. Now those complaints seem less sincere and more like political manipulation. This onslaught happened in a small Boro that is not center stage to state or national politics. There was no major party gain here but there was a major fault shift in power to the advantage of local Dem leaders. The most politically na├»ve can see this is a power play. This was legit but was it prudent? On the other hand if the Dems will respect the voters, they will remember the 4 vote win you had in the face of the other Democratic losses is not mandate for much change in Flemington…now isn’t that so???

I want this 2008 council to be better than what we had in 2007 as you saw fit to run and change its composition. Since it did not need fixing, I do think you have that responsibility. You admit we had a good council and you ran coalescing all the power into the “Dems” hands. In ethics there is a lot of talk about responsibility. You chose to run and Brooke and Mark chose to campaign for you. You are responsible for the outcome to a certain extent. Was running legitimate? Sure, but you three have a responsibility for the things you do and set in motion. So is life in Flemington going to be better for me or worse? To me it is Pax Flemington or a Democratic Dictatorship. I get the sense that Democratic Dictatorship is trenching in. Time will tell.

As for appointments, I would not ask you to divulge any secrets regarding names but keeping promises…do you “Dems ‘s keep promises, in the name of transparency that is absolutely my business as a citizen and your obligation as an elected official is to assure me you do. An answer is in order. Are promises made to Mayor Hauck being honored? Why would an answer to that question be sidestepped?

Regarding the Mayor’s comment…I thought you were saying, and I re-read your post, that it was the Mayor’s civic duty to lend his support even if he said it at a council meeting. Can he say this in council? I do not have a clue. Do you know of some ordinance or law that prohibits his making that kind of comment or is it just a matter of personal preference on your part?

Have good one.

Joan

Courier News Flemington blog said...

Mark,

Your reassurances of evenhandedness and non- partisanship are comforting and I will be anxious to see all this in play as the year unfolds. To avoid repitition, I ask you to take time to see my last post to Linda to expand on my concerns. If unfounded, time will tell.

A clarification...Regarding appointments I would never request names until the appropriate courtesies are extended. That being said, as a citizen I am entitled to know in general if elected officials are keeping promises they have made.That is my business.

I would not expect Brooke, Linda or you to support my position. There seems to be some confusion so it is worth repeating that no one here in my view has done anything that is not legitimate in American politics. But I question the wisdom of what is coming down here politically in the Boro. It strikes me as a grab for power. I am worried.

Now I have met Linda, Loretta, Brooke. They all seem like good folk. But that is not necessarily an indication of the future. Your assurances are a step in the right direction and I hope to see that non- partisanship you speak of continue its life here in Flemington. I would be delighted to see that.

Will be checking in for an answer regarding the general question about the promise keeping and wonder if you would be so kind as to let me know who received appointments after they are announced publicly.

Thanks,

Joan

anonymous said...

No, Joan, the Mayor may not endorse candidates during a Council meeting. It's not only common sense, it's also a violation of state ethics law and state conflict of interest law.

And any changes that the Council makes in appointments to the Planning Board, professional consultants, or Council assignments will be voted on in regular session. You can chime in then, if you so choose ---and on the record, too.

Your so-called "story" of what happened in 2007 is just plain wrong and is nothing but 'sour grapes'. Phil lost; Linda won. That's it. Get over yourself.

More people found her platform, values, plan, agenda, experience, or Party more valuable to the future of the Borough than they did Phil's. He lost. Get over it.

Merry Christmas.
May the spirit and joy of the holiday season heal your jaded point of view of the 2007 election results.

Courier News Flemington blog said...

Anonymous,

I disagree with your take on the discussion and your attitude. I respect the good posts offered and that these people are working hard when advocating their positions. Even if these folks disagree with me and I them, they are courteous and respectful and are working on our differences. I think this may pay off for the Boro in the grand scheme of things. People who disagree with me and vice versa are not bad people worthy of derision. No one has a monopoly on absolute truth. No one should tell anyone in so many words to shut up because they don't think the way you do. That kind of arrogance is confounding. Blogs are opinion forums for debate. See "Why Don't They Ever Write Back" for the ground rules on this blog. If you like silence, try the Trappists.

Please cite specific code regarding the Mayor's words.Is ethics a part of your field of employment like it is mine?

I am posting again on this mid next week. You may find it interesting.

So the beat goes on.

Courier News Flemington blog said...

Mark,

Regarding dismantling the council: “Politics is perception.” The American President.

From where I sit the “Dems’ fielded 2 candidates who actively sought council seats. Two others were recruited. It is hard for me to accept that a very elderly wife of a deceased mayor would get filled with drive at that stage of life and throw her hat into the political arena. Expanding on this further with respect to candidates in a public venue I feel is indiscreet but I would make my case more privately. It is the recruiting aspect of the campaign that sets me to thinking that this was a coup…an attempt to immobilize the opposition. The math here is simple.

As a point of fact, the Republicans fully expected the “Dems” to field candidates, never thinking otherwise. This idea that the ”Reps” thought or expected the “Dems” not to do so is not correct. They did. I have great expectations for both parties but I am not totally off the planet here.

I take exception to your contention that the Democrats started the tradition of non- partisanship. Both teams have worked together. I really hope you saw their efforts as they addressed your complaints after the 2006 election. It was sincere. The success of the last council is due to deliberate efforts made by both parties. Both parties deserve kudos here.

Linda, Brooke, Mark and my other dear readers,

Since this post went up I have been sitting at this keyboard for hours, answering posts and private e mails as well. As you know I am recovering from major knee surgery and my legs are very swollen. I will keep up with this but if I do not respond immediately, know I will. I need to be out of this sitting position to reduce the swelling. Will be posting again on the subject in mid next week, trying to give cohesion to our discussion thus far. And I will respond to your individual comments as soon as I can. Please stay tuned.

Have a good own.

psc said...

Have you ever apologized for or disavowed the 2006 (and past) campaign which personally attacked the Democrats?

Do you really believe it is appropriate for an elected official to endorse candidates in a partisan election during a Council meeting?

This is really a dangerous atttitude. Russia and Pakistan have fake elections where anybody is free to run as long as they don't dispute what the incumbents are doing. There is nothing democratic about that!

No one likes to lose an election, but you are really being a sore loser now.

Nick Lento said...

Dear Joan,

You sound like an intelligent, essentially decent, person.

I'm sorry to tell you that your take on the election comes off as highly rationalized sour grapes at best and thinly veiled whining at worst.

I don't doubt that you sincerely believe all that you've said or that you feel hurt/wounded and perhaps even angry at losing; but as someone who's actually studied philosophy at the academic level (way over my head ;-) you should consider the possibility that your judgment in these matters just may be less than impartial.

Give it a rest. Wait till "next year". See what actually happens in terms of concrete governance and votes etc.

If there are clearly definable issues to contend over; then have that discussion/argument at that time....if it even comes up.

It seems to me that you have a fairly pleasant civil community there and I hope y'all don't allow it to deteriorate into silly bickering over, essentially, nothing real (at this point anyway).

So, in the spirit of the season, let there be Peace in Flemington and Good Will toward all!!

Courier News Flemington blog said...

pcs and Nick,,

Welcome.

I will address a few points here but ask you to wait a few days because some of your positions will be addressed in another commentary. This prevents repetition.

Regarding the 2006 election, I had no involvement in that election. So I am at a loss as to why I should apologize. I certainly did not like it. My take on the aftermath of the 2006 election was that both sides wanted something better. My take is that both parties worked this past year to make that happen on Boro Council. My take is that through their efforts, we had an excellent 2007 Council, one that should be studied in “poli sci” classes, not one that should be dismembered. Even though I am not aware of anyone offering anyone official apologies, actions speak louder than words. Council members in both parties did put their money where their mouths were. Through cooperative efforts, both parties put the election behind them and did things to make the Boro better. That to me is a sign of recognizing the wounds caused and wanting to heal those wounds. I think that deserves appreciation and recognition however I don't get the impression that the efforts really impressed some of the posters. This is perhaps why they do not see the loss I see.

Re: endorsing candidates…I was not at that council meeting when the remark was made but as Linda noted…we all knew by then who endorsed whom…From the point of view of a candidate from the opposing party, I can understand being deflated by any type of comment along those lines ...but I understand all that was said was something like “Good Luck”. That strikes me as benign, far from being a serious violation of a moral code.

If you recall the 2006 election regarding the Democrat losses, Democrats made remarks in the press for weeks afterwards and the differences even spilled over into Boro council in January. Check the “Democrat”. After A FEW WEEKS of the lamenting/whining/sour grapes ??? by some Democrats, I wrote to the “Democrat” and Courier News and asked that we move on. After the letter was published, I was contacted privately by a prominent Democrat whom I did not know personally and grilled about my letter…had I read the material, etc??? To me this is an act of intimidation, trying to prevent people from publicly airing their views if they oppose the behavior of some Democrats. In a small Boro that tactic may be a good way to quiet your opposition. And along your line of reasoning were the Democrats sore losers in 2006?

Attitudes carry over from one election to the next. I had hoped after all the members of Boro council making such a Herculean effort in 2007 to overcome 2006, we had turned the corner from the 2006 mentality. I am disappointed that we had not. If you think this is rationalized sour grapes, so be it. I think I have expressed a valid viewpoint for which I am not the solitary advocate. I concur--- to some extent time will tell. As some who posted here argued, they have a right to follow their aspirations and they do, so do I as an essayist. It is up to everyone here who posts to make sure that peace is kept in Flemington. I take that responsibility very seriously when I post.

And, again good to hear from you and…

Stay tuned.

psc said...

Your husband was on Council in 2006 and had no involvement in the campaign??? C'mon! You can't complain about the speck in someone else's eye and ignore the log in your own.

When complaints were made about the 2006 campaign, your response is to "move on." You don't think you should take your own advice here??? At least let the new people get in and make some mistakes before you continue to attack them for defeating your husband.

You want to minimize the impact of the mayor's endorsement during a Council meeting. But, you should ask yourself, if your husband was running as a challenger and Mayor Novick said "Good luck! Hope you win!" to the Democratic incumbents, would you be so "tolerant???"

Courier News Flemington blog said...

pcs,

My husband was not on Boro council in 2006 and had never been on council until he accepted an appointment, very reluctantly, offered to him around January of 2007 to fill seats vacated after Mary Melfi became county clerk and Bob Hauck stepped into the mayorship. I had no involvement whatsoever in the 2006 election. I had only limited involvement in 2007 because I was laid up from major surgery.

Complaints made about the 2006 election were very seriously addressed by those on the 2007 Boro council and the Republicans candidates during the 2007 campaign. They ceased and desisted.Didn't you notice? What more should they have done to make things better?

I may have felt badly if "Mayor" Novick wished other candidates well but I don't think by doing so, he was committing some kind of crime or doing anything immoral, even if he ruffled my feathers some.

Joan

Betsy said...

Democracy - it's so inconvenient sometimes.