As we report in this issue, both major political parties have endorsed their candidates for the town elections this November. The four positions up for election are supervisor, two board seats and town justice. Of these three races, only the town justice is contested. Supervisor Terri Roney (R), and incumbent board members Nancy Murray (D) and Jim Greenfield (R) are unopposed.
We at the Skaneateles Press were surprised by this circumstance and have been told it is not a typical occurrence. One knowledgeable local resident suggested to us that these incumbents are such committed and quality public servants that the lack of opposition candidates was a silent show of respect by the opposing party.
We certainly agree that Roney, Murray and Greenfield all have been, to our knowledge and experience, excellent town representatives. We endorse them, and we are glad they each will be around for another term of office.
And yet, it would be remiss of us not to state that no matter how good any candidate is, it is dismaying, even a bit disheartening, when no one rises in opposition.
Our democratic system is great because it gives us, the people, a choice in who we want to represent us. Elections give us a chance to vigorously debate issues, oftentimes with the result that the loser will have suggested ideas or programs that the winner ultimately accepts or endorses because the idea was proven to have resonated with the people.
To have an election without opposition is like when we attend village, town and school board meetings (not counting public hearings) and see not one local resident there simply out of interest or wanting to be informed. The key to democracy, the key to making local government – or any level of government – do what we want it to do is to hold it accountable. To hold government accountable we must get educated and get involved.
Once again, we have no opposition to incumbent candidates Roney, Murray and Greenfield, but rather we feel concerned over the general circumstance of any election being uncontested.
As for the contested town justice position, in the weeks and months ahead we will bring you biographies, information and interviews with both candidates and ultimately will make an endorsement.