To the Editor:
In last week’s editorial, “Republicans Romped. Now, What Are They Going to Do?,” much was made of the results of the recent election for the Otsego County Board of Representatives. It was pointed out that county Republicans did very well, putting the Republicans, with 4,600 weighted votes, well ahead of the Democrats, with 1,627 weighted votes, in the county’s system of weighted voting.
The editorial then launched into what might best be considered an extremely condescending explanation of the election of Meg Kennedy, County District 5, who was “The big surprise to come out of the Hartwick hills…” Is one to surmise that there is something wrong with living in the Hartwick hills? The editorial continues with “…there’s nothing the matter with Kennedy… She’s educated (Cornell)…”
Does this imply that someone who does not have a college education is not qualified to serve on the county Board of Representatives? And for that matter does the college education need to be from Cornell as opposed to SUNY Cobleskill, for example? After all, they both bespeak of an “educated” person.
After detailing a number of the representative elections which were won by Republican candidates, the editorial opines, “While county Republicans are to be congratulated, they certainly didn’t earn this larger majority on the merits.” And while this may be the opinion of the editorial, it would seem it was not the opinion of the voters in the county. And, when push comes to shove, it is what the voters think that ultimately matters. Evidently, the voters did not buy into the concept that “the $9.2 million gap that appeared in the prospective 2016 budget deserved to be a majority buster…”
And then, in what would tend to be somewhat of a non sequitur, the editorial seems to indicate that the issue of “The tension between newcomers and longtimers…” played a role in the election. However, when it comes to elections, any tension which might arise would seemingly be based not on how long one has lived here, but rather what one expects of one’s county government.
The editorial then makes the rather clairvoyant claim that “It’s likely they’ll (the Republicans) never have this wide a majority again,” concluding with, “Let’s hope they prove they can make it work for an improved common good.” And this final statement is perhaps the most puzzling aspect of the editorial.
Is the assumption being made that no effort need be made for Republicans and Democrats to work together for the next two years for the good of the residents of Otsego County? It would be nice to think that even though the Democrats did not fair as well as they no doubt wanted to, they will still be a part of the governing process. To even suggest that they might take their ball and go home would not seem a judgment to make regarding anyone, regardless of political party, who has chosen to spend their time and talent as a public servant.
Additionally, the overall seemingly arrogant tone of the editorial does little, if anything, to heal the tension which is thought to exist between newcomers and old timers. In fact, it might well go a long way to convince the old timers that their skepticism regarding the newcomers is well founded.
CATHERINE LAKE ELLSWORTH