Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Venture into Local Politics

The Venture Into Local Politics

I like to be active. I like to be involved. Pretty much whatever I do in life, I can't help from getting more involved in what I'm involved in. Whether it be a hobby, work or association, there is a certain energy that brews inside of me that likes to "get things done". For most of my career and professional life I've been a self-starter so when I think things should be done a certain way I like to get up and do something. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, there are a lot of us like this.

Several years ago, I began regularly attending my local town council meetings. There was buzz of the cliques on the council,- the alliances, who was with who and who wasn't. But frankly, I didn't care. I didn't really pay attention. What interested me more was moving forward. I then supported a candidate for mayor that didn't win but I was still open to the new mayor, Ted Hussa, who was elected. I was quick to offer my volunteer services to the new mayor.

There was a vacancy on the council (the mayor's former spot). So 3 appointees went before the council to be chosen. I thought the choice was so obvious. There was one guy who clearly had the right attitude, experience and demeanor to be a council person. Guess what? They didn't choose him. I was shocked. Instead they chose a woman who seemed to be a nice enough lady and a generous volunteer. However, I didn't think she expressed good decision-making ability. She didn't seem to understand the business aspects of local government. She just didn't feel right. The alliances on the council also became evident. Three voted one way, three the other and the Mayor broke the tie on appointing this person to council.

I knew then I would someday run for local office. I actually reached out to the council President, Tom Andes, who I had met and worked with before, to ask how the whole thing worked. I realized that a candidate could run against the recent appointment but I was hoping the first appointee would run instead. Eventually, the council person who was appointed for Ward 3 of town, Laurie Toth was defeating in the next public election. Now the 3rd Ward is represented by Bob Grant, an active and vocal Democrat in a mainly Republican town.

While political affiliation is not as relevent on many local issues, I still believe my town is in need of fresher, newer and less polarizing representation. Democrat Bob Grant has his own history of politics and polarization. So I'll give it my go as a new voice.

For the past 8 years, I've been very busy with Hometown Tales, an online brand, radio show & video program featuring strange history and tales from all over the world. I'll still continue my collaboration with my colleague Bryan Minogue on this highly enjoyable and entertaining venture. However, I assure any followers of the program that I won't be flooding you with political mumbo jumbo. I'll may plug an occaisional donation to my campaign here and there but just because I've revealed my affiliation don't think that it will effect my views on topics of the show. Like many of us in today's day and age, I still consider myself a pretty independent-minded individual. My campaign for my Council is much more about the town than political affiliations, alliances or petty politics.

Of course, I've already learned that local politics can be a lot nastier than the stuff we see on TV. There's a lot of back-room negotiations, gossip and personal attacks that are already popping up. I do expect that I'll first run against another candidate in the June primaries then hopefully move on to the general election. I am ready for the ride.