Thursday, July 07, 2011

Enough's enough!

So I have been getting progressively more and more fed up with the state of the City Council in my lovely seaside town of Salem. I live in Ward 5 - and when long-time Councillor Matt Veno stepped down in 2009 he had two people vie to replace him. Both were local attorneys, Jerry Taché and the other John Ronan. John lives down the street from me, and seemed like a fairly reasonable fellow (and he is a nice guy - I don't have any personal animosity towards him), so I voted for him. Most did - he won the ward handily.

Over the next year, it started to become obvious that we weren't getting what I'd voted for. As Councillor, John started working with a group that became crassly obstructionist, and demonstrated what in my view is a clear misunderstanding of the Council's role and a shortsighted view of the City's finances. Read the Salem News' archives and Real_World's blog for more background. As the year began, I started hoping that we'd have a challenger emerge in Ward 5 for Ronan. Once the filing period began, I was disappointed to see that wasn't the case. As we got closer to the filing deadline, two things became obvious:

- There wasn't anybody interested in running
- There was also a lot of people sharing my sentiments

So after the proverbial "discussing with family", we got a candidate. Me. I went in on Tuesday after the holiday weekend and filed paperwork for the race, and Jane's planning to bring it in tomorrow. Getting signatures isn't that hard, it turns out, when people care.

Some people run for offices like this to make connections. Some do it to get lined up for bigger things later. That's not my plan. I'm doing it because City Council seems to have gone off the rails again (this happens on occasion in this and many other towns) and if nobody else is game then I may as well do it. Win or lose, I don't see myself trying for anything else down the road. Remember, I own an IT company in my real life. Two thankless jobs are enough!