COMMENTARY: Setting the Registers to Zero


May 8, 2014

I was an observer at the elections in Cape Charles on Tuesday. My initial job was to make sure that the registers were set to zero. Each voting machine has an electronic counter on the front of it which is incremented as each person casts a vote. Having the registers set to zero at the beginning of an election assures that no candidate obtains a head start in the counting.

I see this initial validation as a metaphor for our collective town future. Those of us in the vocal, but defeated, minority now have an opportunity to do as the election officials did in the early hours of Tuesday morning: Set the registers to zero.

The voices of the majority have spoken. Let’s all start again by showing respect for our democratic process. Let’s give the new Mayor and Council an opportunity to fix things that some see as broken. Things that I feel strongly about are as follows:

— Allowing citizens to speak their minds at the Town Council meetings and having the Council members actually take an interest in what is said.

— Arranging periodic town meetings to obtain citizen feedback for major town projects before the Council has decided on a course of action.

— Being watchful of the money that citizens give to the town to run it.

— Avoiding snap spending decisions.

— Keeping staffing to the minimum possible. [Read more…]