LETTERS: Lysander never lost its pride

— It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly one year since we were swept into office by a two-to-one majority of voters in the town of Lysander. Although our ticket, Lysander First, consisted at the time of two Democrats and only one Republican, we received more Republican votes than did the candidates of the Lysander Republican Committee. We were and are still humbled and honored by the support we received from all citizens, regardless of their party affiliation.

Because support for the candidates of Lysander First came from people of all parties and walks of life, we considered our victory a mandate from the people of Lysander. We believed and still believe that this mandate from the people was in response to decades of domination of town business by the professional politicians of the LRC. And based on the feedback that we’ve received from countless citizens over the past year, we know that the people are proud of all we have accomplished together so far. Yes, the people of Lysander are proud of their town.

People tell us that this is what disturbs them most about LRC candidate, Russ Johnson, when he says “Restore Pride to Lysander.” Well folks, it bothers us, too. Despite decades of domination by the LRC, we are still proud of our town. Our churches, schools, volunteer organizations and countless other sources of pride have graced this town for years. Unfortunately, the professional politicians of the LRC led our town government astray, as it lined the pockets of its members with no-bid contracts and exclusive appointments to political positions. Yes, the town of Lysander may have lost its way. But, the people of Lysander have never lost their pride.

After we unanimously chose independent candidate, Jim Hickey over Russ Johnson to fill the open councilor seat last January, the LRC nominated Russ Johnson in April. When asked to explain the LRC’s nomination of Russ for councilor, one official said, “Russ Johnson is a member of the LRC and Jim Hickey is not.” Another called Jim Hickey “collateral damage.” Importantly, one LRC official said that, “Russ Johnson is a seasoned and experienced politician.”

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