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1)  I’m struck by just how non-ideological our local elections are.  Across the nation, voters rejected rigid conservative agenda initiatives – repealing a law limiting union rights in Ohio, rejecting a crack-down in voting rights in Maine, and rejecting an anti-abortion measure in Mississippi.  Randy and others running on the Republican line won without any party ideological divisiveness as issues, thank goodness.  (And congratulations to the winners.)

2)  Despite the keen interest in this election on-line, less people voted in the Mayoral race than the last time.  The get out the vote efforts were not very effective.

3)  I’m only guessing about why people voted the way they did, but my sense is that Randy – and those other candidates riding coattails – just connected more with the people of Beacon and their immediate needs.  The people didn’t buy the argument that Gold was for smart growth and Randy wasn’t because it was untrue to start with.  And when Gold emphasized progress citing projects like the Round House, the old High School, and the theater, most people just didn’t understand how those projects applied to them. 

4) It’s a good town, and still a small town.  

 

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Comment by Henry on November 14, 2011 at 6:22pm

What exactly is wrong with the I heart Randy signs?

Comment by Anna West on November 14, 2011 at 6:10pm

I also received over 20 Republican flyers. Many with misinformation, one as mentioned by Cabot.

 

Another problem is Gold was very diplomatic about the previous administration, which mistakes--

 

a) doing assessments of properies for over 15 years, so long time residents paid as if their house was worth 50K instead of 200K (my neighbor).

 

b) having enough money in savings for emergencies (see from collection of taxes previous years, see above)

 

c) Allowing the police chief to hire his son, and thus several law suits which we are paying for now.

 

d) not handling the old HS properly, tax payers were paying for people to rent cheap studio spaces.

 

e) not even collecting the proper taxes, which was discovered when the new administrator arrived.

 

Have read most of this, but will.    I beg, beg the new admin to either keep Meridith (Admin??) or hire another one. Do not try to do this on your own.  They have experience that someone who held one job in same town was born in, who never lived anywhere else and does not have an accounting degree does not.

Comment by Cabot Parsons on November 14, 2011 at 5:17pm

I received over 20 Republican flyers of various types, including a plastic package that had 6 different postcards placed on my door the day before the election.  I'm assuming that their direct mail campaigns focused harder on households that were not already registered Republican.

To Brian's point, and I raised this before here and elsewhere and Steve himself concurred that this was his thinking regarding the budget: after he and Meredith and the Department Heads had made all of the cuts they felt they could make without negatively affecting services, he brought the first budget to council, KNOWING the increase reflected to balance the budget was too high and NOT FOR passing a budget that was this high, but feeling that the hardest cuts impacting the citizens themselves be made by the entire council working toward consensus.  Steve didn't WANT to raise our taxes over 20 percent or even "feel comfortable" doing so, he just felt that the whole council needed to consciously make the rest of the cuts together so they understood the impact on services and on our citizens.  A majority of votes during Steve's tenure have been near unanimous PRECISELY because he seeks consensus and tries to make sure every council member is heard and every reasonable idea considered and added if it makes sense.  It will be interesting to see votes in the new administration and see if they are consensus or by party line.

As for the deliberate misinformation on almost all of the Republican ticket mailers, I found it especially interesting that on John Forman's piece there was Randy, placed right next to John, saying John's opponent voted for the tax increase and should be held responsible for that stance.  This was Jerry Landisi, council member Ward 1.  So Randy HIMSELF said that a council member should be held responsible for their tax vote, all the while disavowing his own complicity in the vote.  I personally feel that John should be ashamed to have sunk to that level.  I'd grown to expect much more from him and felt he had many positive things about his previous tenure to focus on rather than the fanning the anger factor with deliberately obfuscated rhetoric.  I think the budget vote was a difficult one for all.  I'd certainly have liked to seen a much lower increase and have my own list as to what I think we could cut (as do we all, I'm sure).  By contrast, the City of Newburgh saw an over 60% increase just to stay in business.  As stated before by others the dip in city revenues had come from a number of shortfalls, many of them outside of the control of city management.  Engaging the electorate in a real conversation about the issues might have yielded the same election results, but would certainly have not left so many feeling disgust and concerned about the type of integrity these same candidates will show during actual service.

Comment by Tara on November 14, 2011 at 4:40pm

Who cares if it can be "used against you"? Is that how people should govern. You stand up for what you believe in and vote NO. If your going to run on pointing fingers in the next election..you vote NO and stand by it. I have voted in many elections in my day too and this was, by far, was the most ridiculous when it comes to fliers in my mailbox. Lowest common denominator. No defense for it, in my humble opinion. I would hope we as voters rank higher. I was insulted, especialyl since i had voted for some of these folks in the past. I have nothing against Randy, I hope for Beacon he does the absolute best job he can possibly do. For all of us.

Comment by Bud Siegel on November 14, 2011 at 4:05pm

Jo, what councilperson was caught putting up the I Heart Randy posters?  I must be the last person to know.

Comment by Bud Siegel on November 14, 2011 at 4:02pm

Brian and Tara,

I've been through quite a few elections on local, state and national levels.  These fliers seemed pretty tame to me, but perhaps I'm jaded.  I think the candidates were just staking out the territory they thought was to their advantage. It just didn't seem that trashy to me at all, but just political handout standard issue.   Randy's territory as an expense watchdog and tax increase watchdog was established long before those fliers.  Those that felt it was hypocritical of him to say the last increase falls on Steve's shoulders, even though it was his administration, just didn't vote for Randy.  But if you think that Randy won because 500 people were tricked by those fliers, I think you are mistaken.  The majority of voters, by far, just preferred one candidate over the other.  Isn't that always the case?  

Comment by Tara on November 14, 2011 at 3:31pm

So, if you don't agree with the proposed budget, you vote.....NO. Simple. You don't vote yes and then point fingers. Many voters are not mature and well educated on the issues (sad but most of America do not treasure and respect right to vote) and those flyers are meant for them. Period. They are for people who do not care to look further into the issue or don't know how. I am an independent who has voted on both sides of the aisle in my time and am saddened that Beacon politics came to this trash. It has never been this way here. Pathetic.

Comment by brianpjcronin on November 14, 2011 at 1:08pm

And the flier said "Steve Gold raised your taxes 14.9%."

Which Randy voted in favor of. The flier didn't mention that. Nor what Randy intended to do about those taxes that were raised 14.9%. Nor why the taxes had to be raised so high in the first place . . . to correct an accounting error the previous Republican administration made.

And I realize that not everyone was influenced by those fliers, so please don't take it personally. I didn't direct that at you or anyone else on this thread and I apologize if it came across that way. But if the people who sent out those fliers didn't think they could influence a significant amount of people with them, they would not have sent them out in the first place . . . and certainly not in those numbers. The fact that they thought it was ok to send out such fliers is what troubles me, and many others in Beacon as well.

 

Comment by brianpjcronin on November 14, 2011 at 12:33pm

And my point is that those who blamed Steve for the tax increase were influenced by thousands of dishonest and misleading fliers, sent on behalf of someone who also supported the tax increase but offered no other solution as to how to fix a budget gap created by years of incorrect accounting done by the previous administration. 

As a result, many of us who supported Steve but had a positive view of Randy and many other Beacon Republicans – and even voted for some of them in the past -  now find ourselves suspicious and distrustful of them. We thought Beacon was better than that.

Comment by Gregory Richards on November 14, 2011 at 11:56am

brianpjcronin: My point never has been and never will be about Randy or how he will handle taxes. My point was and still is: That the raising of taxes was a factor in the elections and that people held him responsible for them. No more no less.

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