Election reflection

We congratulate the winners in Tuesday’s election – the people’s choices for public service.

We salute our newly elected (or re-elected) local leaders: Barb Rice, Gordy Crossman, Patti Littlefield, Michael Dechene, John Quinn, Kathleen Lefebvre, Ed Goetz, Ron Keough, Howard Riley, Tom Bartiss, Don Hamm, Archie Depo, Amy Shalton, Rick Donah, Leon LeBlanc, Chris Garrow, Gary Manley, Gerald Bruce, Thomas Nolan, Stan Pritzker and, presumably, Michael “Beef” Bevilacqua.

We also thank those whose vote totals came up short – for sticking their necks out to try to serve the people. That takes guts, risk and a commitment of time and, often, money. Having options is essential to democracy. In this light, we thank Ed Randig, Curt Reynolds, Mark Besio, Roger Amell, Don Dew, Sabrina Sabre-Shipman, Eric Shaheen, Patty Meagher, Gerald Gillmett, Mary Ellen Keith, Fred Balzac, John LaMora, William Lincoln Sr., Ryan Hall, Linda Lawrence and Mark Powers.

(We hope we didn’t leave anyone out, and if we did, we apologize.)

Many other candidates, too many to name here, won without facing opposition this time around. While we hope more races are contested in the future, we also appreciate that many elected officials do their jobs to such apparent public satisfaction that no one sees it worthwhile to challenge them. To these officials, we say thank you for your commitment to public work.

We continue to marvel at the longevity of some public servants. For example, Mr. Keough has a total of 30 years on the Harrietstown board, and Mr. Riley, also elected to the same board Tuesday, was first elected to the Saranac Lake village board in the 1960s.

Among the many things they could tell less experienced politicians is that, whether you win or lose, your public remarks should be both respectful and accurate. Not everyone seems to know that.

Mr. Amell, upon losing his re-election bid for Tupper Lake town supervisor, spoke sarcastically of the victor, Mrs. Littlefield, which reflected badly on him.

Mr. Crossman, talking to an Enterprise reporter after being re-elected as Franklin County legislator, made it sound like he’s been more of an booster for the town of Brighton and for local colleges than he has been. We were glad to hear him say, “I intend to spend more time with the people down in that area,” but then he added, “I’ve always been a big supporter. I’ve endeavored over the years to work with and help the people in that area.” Our knee-jerk response was, “No you haven’t.”

Likewise when he said, “One of the things I’ve always been a supporter and enthusiast for is Paul Smith’s College and North Country Community College.” NCCC, maybe, but when we asked him about Paul Smith’s in a recent interview, he seemed to have little specific knowledge of what goes on there.

It’s easy to say things like that, but in our experience, Mr. Crossman hasn’t gone out of his way to make them true in his decade on the Legislature. He still can, though, and we hope a sincere desire to do so is what motivated these bungled statements. A good start would be to push for regular county board meetings in the county’s south end.

Overall, we send our best wishes to all those elected Tuesday and remind them that we expect them to be honest, to be ethical, to make themselves available to the people, to listen, to be open to new ideas and to remember that we’re all in this together.