Tuesday, November 21, 2017
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Mark: Some endorsements

By Mark Frost, Chronicle Editor

John Strough for Queensbury Town Supervisor. Just because The Post-Star says something doesn’t always mean it’s wrong. I support John’s re-election because he’s done a good, progressive job as chief executive of Warren County’s most populated town, and I also support him because the Republicans have behaved so badly in trying to reassert their monopoly.

Being a Republican in Queensbury is easy, because the whole party/ government apparatus alleviates heavy lifting. John has succeeded the hard way, an individual person sticking to his principles, making gradual headway.

I think it’s absurd that Doug Irish moved to North Carolina but tried to keep his seat on the Queensbury Town Board, and ridiculous that the potentates defended the move, even blaming John, as Rachel Seeber does, for not facilitating Doug’s participation via two-way video.

I’m bothered by the commingling of Republican power and public policy. Given John Aspland’s role as a GOP chief, shifting town legal work to his law firm was problematic. The party’s resulting effort to purge Ward 1 councilman Tony Metivier because he balked was downright stupid. Tony won the subsequent primary and now he’s got power and authority that regular GOP office-holders can’t even dream of.

The Republicans also shot themselves in the foot by anointing Hal Bain as Tony’s challenger only to have Hal drop out of the race with disastrous consequence for the GOP. The fall-out is so severe that you wonder whether it’s made Ward 2’s Brian Clements radioactive.

Rachel Seeber is an up-and-comer. She’s dynamic, she knows her way around social media and she’s certainly built a devoted following. But she did not distinguish herself in these recent GOP gyrations. She never called out the Republican power structure for behaving badly, didn’t show crucial independence and leadership.

It’s likely she’ll win, given the party’s enrollment dominance, but it remains to be seen if Rachel’s up to the job.

John is far from perfect, but I think the audit misstep is overblown. It’s not like anyone contends that he stole money. John can be too detached. When we asked him about the litter charge brought against The Post-Star for foisting its free weekly on unwilling people’s lawns, he said he had a paper route as a boy and people liked getting the paper delivered. Totally missed the point, and gave Rachel opportunity to score lots of points herself.

I also think he’s wrong on wanting the airport runway expansion, another opportunity gift-wrapped for Rachel.

But overall, John is a good person and a proven leader. He’s done right by Queensbury and the region. I hope he wins another term.

Dan Hall for Mayor of Glens Falls. I don’t know if anybody has been more ready for the job than Dan. He’s been a good Councilman-at-Large, learning the city’s workings, often standing in for Mayor Diamond, who became increasingly less visible as his terms went on.

Beyond experience, Dan is a positive, respectful person. I like how he talks to people. There’s no ego that gets in the way. He’s accessible. I think he’ll do well.

Robin Barkenhagen for Councilman-at-Large. I’m fine with the whole assembled “Unity Ticket” of Dan Hall, Jane Reid, Jim Campinell, Bill Collins, Scott Endieveri and Jim Clark, Jr., but for two reasons I support Robin over Jane for Councilman-at-Large.

One, you need to have somebody from the outside or risk too cozy a government club. Somebody’s got to rock the boat, inject an alternate viewpoint. Complacency and closed minds are the peril when everyone’s in lockstep.

Two, I’m impressed by Robin, a rare Green Party candidate who takes his cues on issues from what voters say instead of imposing the party agenda. I think Robin really wants this job. I hope he gets the chance to do it.

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