November 12, 2019
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Point May Be Lost

Published Aug. 14, 2019

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Effective Nov. 19 of this year, Clinton will have a new Town Charter that makes a number of important changes. A minor, but important change, was added to Section 3-1: “No individual can hold two elected positions concurrently.”

It appears this fine point may be lost on Clinton’s Republican Town Committee (RTC), which has filed repetitive individual endorsements for the November election, nominating Drew Richards (whose term on Clinton’s Planning & Zoning Commission expires in November 2021) to the Zoning Board of Appeals; Dylan Walter to a second term on the Zoning Board of Appeals (but as an alternate), plus to the Board of Education and to the Planning & Zoning Commission; and James Staunton as an alternate to both the Board of Assessment Appeals and to the Planning & Zoning Commission.

Certainly Bruce Farmer could have been endorsed for one of these to avoid concurrent endorsements instead of forcing a highly qualified incumbent and state trooper, Rob Derry, off the Republican slate for police commission.

This could reflect a number of possibilities. One is that the bench of willing candidates controllable by the self-serving Republican clique is evaporating. Another is that a number of these endorsements are simply placeholders that will be withdrawn and backfilled closer to the elections.

This second possibility may execute a strategy to avoid embarrassing negative letters about last-minute fill-ins whose personal and public lives are vulnerable to harsh criticism.

Two years ago, for the first time ever, both major Clinton parties engaged in primaries, in which affiliated voters expressed a clear and unambiguous desire for change. The Democratic Town Committee embraced voter sentiment, while the RTC defied Republican voters and defended the status quo in the general election. The repetitive Republican slate extends the Clinton RTC’s insular indifference to voters.

Kirk Carr