Lack of candidates once again provides disappointment for democracy in our Town. Election 2019 in the Town of Newstead has two Council seats up for vote. As usual, we’re offered very few choices. The last time I spoke of this was earlier in the year on the FaceBook page, “You Know You’re from Akron When”. Of course, when I brought up how disappointing it was that two incumbent Village Trustees, Michael Middaugh and Brian Perry, were running un-apposed, I was immediately kicked of the site. My post wasn’t mean, in fact it gave all do respect to the incumbents, but just raised the fact that democracy doesn’t work so well when people run un-opposed. I’ve recently been made aware of the two Democrats running for the Council seats in the fast approaching 2019 election. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. One I’ve known for years, and have always had a good relationship with, but really, as a Councilman, I just don’t see it! As much as the Democratic Committee is not wholly to blame, there is the fact that people just don’t want to run. It’s pretty much the attitude of let someone else do the work. In fact, when I ran for Councilman in 2017, I heard many times “better you than me”. This is the kind of attitude that doesn’t help our country. As for our local Democratic committee, I feel it needs a spark to get people interested in actually going to the meetings AND participating in the process. As a person, I like Justin Rooney, but as the Newstead Democratic Committee chairman, I think his time has come. We need renewed energy for people to be interested. And again, this would not only help the Democratic party, but the entire election process, because limited choices is just not good for democracy in general.
Regardless of the choices though, you do have them. Make the most of asking either the incumbents, or the council-elect participants just what can they do for our community. Too many times they just skate by with no real accountability to our concerns! We should be asking them how they plan on improving our quality of life, like having better and more affordable internet service, or cellular service. The idea of driving down Theodore Road in Golden Pond Estates, and having my calls drop, every time, is unacceptable in this day and age. And what can we do about renewable energy? Some neighboring towns, such as Amherst, have launched “solarize campaigns”. Back in 2017, Amherst officials launched such a campaign to provide residents and businesses with more affordable solar energy and solar panels. We should also be asking how they plan on supporting our local fire companies, as the Village and Town are chief funding sources for both departments. And then there’s the question of recreation facilities. I seemed to remember hearing over the years about a dog park, and even a splash park. What happened to these ideas?
The point being, ask questions…make your current elected officials, or those running for office accountable!
Editor’s Note: A List of candidates has been received and will be published shorty -JAP-