Full Circle and Resurrection

It's official as of tonight: my husband is running for Town Supervisor.

In New York, a Town Supervisor is a unique position that is simultaneously chief executive officer, head of the legislature, and chief financial officer. It may not pay particularly well, but you have to go all the way up to President of the United States to find an elected position with as much authority and scope for action (within the relevant jurisdiction).

He's had this job before. He served from 1996 through 1999. It was a roller-coaster ride and a half. The day after he was elected, the outgoing Town Supervisor and town council passed a budget with a huge tax cut and increase in spending. Essentially they dumped everything in the piggy bank into a massive spending spree. The reason: to deny R. the cushion of a cash reserve, and to ensure that he would have to raise taxes. The trouble was, their books were so poor that they didn't know how much cash was in the bank, and spent more than they had. As a result, the first day of office, R. inherited a $50,000 budget deficit - that was hidden in unfinished books so bad, they had to be reconstructed by a CPA.

What happened after that is much too complex and rich a story to be told in a blog post. There is material there for a novel - and maybe I should write it someday.

The leader of the opposition during R.'s term of office ran against him in 1999, and defeated him. This same long-time opponent announced recently that after 10 years in office, he would not run again this fall, and another man secured the Republican nomination. R. decided that the time was right for him to run for the office, especially after many local supporters contacted him urging him to run again. Since learning that R. is running, the incumbent has now decided to run after all, on an independent line. There will be three candidates, and R.'s odds of winning have probably not been damaged at all.

The entry of the incumbent has fired R. up, in fact. There is a smell of vindication in the air.

In our county, Democrats select their candidates for local offices in caucuses. Tonight's caucus was well attended and positive. People are excited about the prospect of change in our town government. Many people spoke about the good work that the current highway superintendent is doing. They also spoke about the good work that R. is doing with the municipal power group that he leads. We left the meeting with the words, from an attendee: "Now we all have to get out and work."

And when we got home, the best words of all were from Robert: "I feel normal again."


  1. That the opponent is running again out of spite shines a very poor light on the guy. I am glad your husband is running and hope he wins. His running seems to have reveal this opponent for what his interests really are. I'm thinking ego since he is sandbagging his own party's candidate. And if your husband wins it will send a clear message that work is the interest that matters.

    It does sound like it would make a good story from what you have written here.


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