Sunday, December 5, 2021

In 1978, what Ed Bartholomew said on his first day as GF Mayor

By Mark Frost, Chronicle Editor

The whole ‘Celebration of Life’ memorial service for Ed Bartholomew at Christ Church United Methodist last Wednesday, Sept. 16, was inspired and inspiring, but my favorite part was Ed’s own words.

Current Mayor Dan Hall read them from minutes of the January 1, 1978 meeting when newly elected Mayor Ed Bartholomew first addressed the Common Council.

Ed, who was now economic development czar of EDC Warren County, died of heart disease on July 21 at the age of 70.

Mr. Hall read from the minutes:

“Mr. Bartholomew [who was 28 years old] stated that his administration is prepared to work 24 hours a day for the city of Glens Falls. He pledged full cooperation and support with the Common Council, the department heads, City employees and the citizens of Glens Falls.

“Just because this is a new administration does not mean that the current problems will disappear. They will continue to exist. What we have to do is make a determined effort to meet these problems head-on, to publicly debate the issues and render decisions.

“The purpose of City government is not to please all of the people. The purpose of City government is to be responsive to their needs and responsible in our actions. This City government and City administration must be open to new ideas.

“We must be open to the critics as well as those who support us. Glens Falls, New York — to some people just another city, one of 62 in the State of New York and just one of many i the Country. But to myself and others it represents “Hometown, U.S.A.” where I grew up, attended school and where many of you did the same and many people moved in to the City of Glens Fallsl because of the community.

“Glens Falls biggest asset is the citizens of Glens Falls. This is what we have to do — is retain the citizenry of Glens Falls. We have to utilize the talents of the people here in Glens Falls. I am proud to say that I am Glens Falls. Pride is not enough. We have a challenge and that challenge is to move Glens Falls in the proper direction with open communication, honest government, concern for the taxpayers and renovation and rehabilitation of Glens Falls.

“The Mayor and City Council cannot call upon the public, business and community leaders to challenge, to sacrifice, without first this City Administration setting the tone and setting the example.

“It is the responsibility of City government to be the leader, the leader in government, the leader with our feet on the ground.

“As Mayor I will differ with members of the Council, make mistakes, differ with citizens and you will all differ with me, but hopefully we will differ on issues, not personalities and not on politics.

“Nothing will be resolved, solved by ignoring the problems or by ignoring the critics who tend to differ with us. I and we, the City government, need the help of all citizens of Glens Falls — not to be one of one mind but of one spirit and that is the spirit of Glens Falls.

Mark Frost notes: As I left the memorial service, I was struck by so much of the region’s leadership — government, business, not-for-profit — attended the invitation-only, coronavirus-limited event.

The service worked as a short course in Ed Bartholomew’s leadership approach — genuinely non-partisan and altruistic — a reminder and challenge for the people in attendance. What came to my mind was something the late Dan “Dango” Johnson told me. Dango was the Ward One councilman when Ed was mayor. I believe Dan was also the city Democratic chairman. Ed was Republican. Dan told me that at the start of each year, Ed would meet with each councilman and ask what he or she most wanted to accomplish that year. “Then Ed would try to make it happen,” Dan said.

Copyright © 2020 Lone Oak Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Check Also

Dr. Kathleen Braico: So many diseases halted by vaccines

Dear Mark, I wrote the following in an attempt to help people understand the role …