Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm Supporting The Better of Two Candidates ...

... Not the lesser of two evils!

I attended several Greece Town Board meetings this year. Although I've sat in the audience previously, it's always an eye-opener to see how closed-off and tightly controlled the government in Greece has become. I suspect Communist China may resemble the way Greece is governed these days, except for the prayers. The prayers are anything but generic in their religious content, thus the controversy.

Agendas are printed in advance with the names of those who will move or second a motion assigned next to each item, even if they haven't been sworn-in as yet! The meetings are conducted with the precision of a military drill team. Aside from the "public hearings," there's no discussion, no dissension. Residents are forewarned that they have a limited time to speak and that there will be no response. They mean it, too.

For example, despite a number of people pleading for a public hearing and some two-way discussion between the Town Board and residents on the Time-Warner vs. Edu-Cable issue, the Supervisor and Board Members showed them exactly who was in charge in that chamber. They moved the item up on the agenda, quickly voted to make the switch to Time-Warner, and went on to the next item, barely taking time to exhale as the crowd left the room in shock and disgust.

It's stunning to watch for anyone who hasn't attended a meeting before. For the few who have, everything is predictable. All votes are "Aye" all of the time. Aside from the rare question, all agenda items are ticked off and dispensed with in mere minutes, regardless the impact any given item may come to have on the town or a neighborhood or an individual.

This is the John Auberger style of iron-fist governance. This is the atmosphere that permits scandals to brew on a backburner for years before they explode in the newspaper's headlines. This is why your phone calls go unreturned and your written inquiries remain unanswered. Inside Town Hall offices, there is much more interest in who you are than in how they can help you. I wonder if they check all names against the campaign donation list or the membership to the Chamber of Commerce. It seems they must. My neighbor who knows Auberger socially can get attention paid to his problems. Another neighbor who never met the Supervisor can't get anyone, including our council-person, to respond to his questions.

The D&C is accurate in describing Auberger's government as "clubby, closed and corrupt." I would go a bit further. To me, it's evil. It's all one-sided, all of the time. It's one party rule at its worst. And it's ruining Greece.

Auberger claims his opponent, Dan Maloney, is uneducated about the budget and knows nothing about how to run the town. However, Auberger remains stubborn about not wanting to debate Maloney to show us that his contention is true. Well John, if you can't stand the heat, it's time to get out of the kitchen.

Auberger plays "victim" claiming he trusted the people he chose to run the assessor's office and police department. It seems to elude him that he has the ultimate responsibility for what happens in those areas. His continued lack of insight about his own role in the various scandals that have plagued his career as Supervisor is a promise that his oversight will remain presbyopic should he be elected again.

Dan Maloney, in comparison, favors open government. He seeks out debate and varied input on the issues. That's a breath of fresh air that Greece desperately needs.

While somewhat inexperienced politically, Maloney is articulate in conversation and has much experience in leadership from his career. He does in fact understand the budget and the reserve funds. I've discussed some of the budgetary issues with him when he canvassed the neighborhood recently. I'm confident he can handle the job.

In the aftermath of all the scandals on Auberger's watch, Greece needs leaders who know how to supervise. We need open, honest two-way communications in the Board Room, and between our elected officials and their constituents. We need someone who doesn't fear an opposing viewpoint to bring a sense of balance to the table. Again, I agree with the D&C's description that Maloney is "a solid, concerned citizen." Isn't that how most politicians get their start? He's ready, willing and able to bring Greece back on track. I urge you to give him a chance.

For all of these reasons, SCATS endorses Dan Maloney for Supervisor of the Town of Greece.

1 comment:

SCATS said...

Since this is strictly an endorsement and not intended to be a debate, comments will not be posted on this thread.

I may keep reposting this back to the top as election day nears ;)