Friday, February 22, 2013

The Board it is a changin…maybe

It looks like 2013 is going to be a busy year in my little hometown. 

Before it’s even a quarter past, we’re going to essentially throw our entire village government into a Yahtzee cup, give it a good shake and see where the dice fall as far as who’s going to be running things in town for the next couple of years.

I mean other than the two ladies who own the deli.

Keep up the good work ladies…we all need you out there! And go light on the Mayo, please.

Of course it wasn’t always this way. As far as I know this is the first time every seat including the mayor’s is up for grabs…last year’s holiday party notwithstanding.

Not sure what that actually means. I just thought it sounded clever.


In the past we’ve just elected a couple of Trustees at a time, so the government could have some sense of continuity going forward…which I guess makes…sense.

But ever since the federal government got involved in our tiny little corner of the nation and slapped our hand because we were doing something wrong that most of us still are unsure of, we have this new system in place called cumulative voting.

But only for the Trustees…not for the Mayor.

Got that?

So basically every spot on the board is open, which means, in theory, the 5th grade class at Holy Roller Elementary could be running things in a few months.

Which could work.

Nah, I’m just kidding. No 5th grader couldn't stay up until the end of the typical BOT meeting.

I used to record them and watch them back on TV, just for the entertainment value, but they started reminding me too much of Sunday dinner at my in-laws, without the food fights.  

All that sniping and bickering…and that’s just the folks trying to get front row seats in the gallery.

What takes place up on the Board is even better. The cameras don’t always show it all, but I think spitballs and snapping rubber bands might be involved.

And that’s in the public forum. One can only imagine what goes on in closed sessions.

Well, maybe you can imagine it. My imagination will only take me so far.

But, like I said, now’s the time to make changes if we don’t like how things have been going in town.

And it’s all a pretty simple process. So simple that we only need to attend a couple of classes, just so we know when to show up, how many votes we get to cast for whom, and whether or not we get to pull a lever or fill in a ballot at a rickety cardboard table with our freshly sharpened number 2 pencils.

The way I understand it is we each get as many votes as there are candidates—in this case 6…not including the mayor—and we can cast as many or as few of them as we want for as many or as few candidates as we want.

But not the mayor…the mayor you can only vote for once…I think…unless you know somebody who knows somebody, who used to go to school with somebody’s aunt from the park…I think.

Got that?

I’m not sure how I’m gonna use my 6 votes yet, but I know I’m saving 2 to vote for the next American Idol.

But seriously, because up to now…well, you know…it’s important that my fellow town folk all get out there and do their civic duty. In the past, these elections have not seen quite the voter turn-out that you would like to see. Truth is a lot of us take these village elections a little too lightly.  But there are a lot of important issues coming up that will be deciding the look, feel and future of our little village by the Sound.

There’s the future of the old hospital property to be determined.  What’s the first thing we want people to see as they’re driving into town…more apartments, a hotel, another box store?

Personally I hope it’s something that involves a giant water slide that runs down the hill and right through Dunkin Donuts.

But that’s just me.

Then there’s this whole big “Amnesty” program going on in town, which I’m still a little fuzzy on, but I know it doesn’t mean if you sign up you’re off the hook for the pack of baseball cards you pocketed at Irv’s back in the 60’s.

I checked.

Also, apparently there’s a code enforcement amnesty deadline involved, which seems to keep getting extended, so if you’re going to sign up, you need to do it before the end of May…or June…or maybe November.

But even though the deadline has been somewhat flexible, if you’re a victim of a bureaucratic blunder, through no fault of your own, I’m wondering why there’s a deadline at all?  I mean unless you’ve been hiding 4 illegal apartments in your basement or an indoor swimming pool and sauna in your garage for all these years, why should you assume there’s a problem?

But again…that’s just me.

I’m not all that enlightened when it comes to such weighty governmental matters. I have enough trouble trying to understand the difference between garbage day and trash day.

So that’s why it’s important that we answer the door when the flood of village government, past, present and future, come a knockin, even if you’re in the middle of changing the kitty litter, whether or not you actually own a cat.

Listen to what they have to say, ask a lot of questions and make an informed decision, based on what you think is best for your own little hometown.

And most of all, no matter what your political leanings, or what you think of one candidate over another, good bad or indifferent…respect the fact that they all care…so much so that they are willing to give up their time and service to make sure, going forward, your streets will be safe to walk at night without surveillance cameras on every porch, your taxes will stay somewhat in check, your schools will be relevant and competitive…and we’ll continue to sit by the gazebo on summer nights and listen to music under the stars.

That’s what this coming election is all about so let’s take it seriously and make informed choices that will really make a difference in our village.

And hopefully the board meetings will continue to be just as entertaining no matter who’s sitting up there.

Fingers crossed….


  1. Maybe the amnesty is about that coffee table adult art book you purloined from the library. They knew you purloined it, but are hoping you will use your 6 votes for library trusty. I mean trustee. I'm always sorry when I come to the end of one of your retorts. Please, once you get going, keep on going.

  2. It's true...I always suspected I was under surveillance


Retort to the Retort -

“Is there anybody alive out there…”