To The Daily Sun,
As we approach a new political cycle here comes the commonly used moniker of "Negativism" if certain people are elected to open seats in our town government. It appears to these insiders that having a different opinion or asking questions breeds negativity.
Was it negative for a group of concerned citizens to voice opposition to the purchase of a property which exceeded the current needs of the town without proper assessment to determine what actual and future needs are? Was it positive that the loudest citizen voices for that purchase stood to gain financially from the purchase?
Is it being negative to voice concerns over the town budget and its tax implications, or is it due diligence? Is it right for the insiders to proclaim that any citizens and elected officials questioning of budgets, requests for assessments, and additional information is an attack on department heads and employees with claims of "witch hunts" and "stonewalling?"
I look at this a little differently. I do not see negativism. I see the democratic process at work. I feel any and all aspects of town government should be open for questioning and discussion. It is for this reason I am running for Bristol Select Board. As a four-year member of the Budget Committee, I have been active in the town's budget process and implementation. I believe this experience has given me a good foundation and understanding of the town's operations, projects and issues.
As stated before, I feel it is a right of citizens to question and participate in the government process. Everyone has a right to their opinion and the majority rules. This, in my mind, is the basic essence of democracy in action. Elected officials are elected to represent the voters in deliberations to bring about what would be in the best interest for all. The word deliberation suggests that there should be varied opinions at the table. When there is no discussion or debate leading to a decision, can we be sure we have democracy or a good decision?
If you want a Select Board member who will keep an open mind but still asks the questions, who is fiscally responsible with a goal to prioritize the town's needs before wants, and who will bring a common-sense approach to oversight of the town's operations, then please support me with your vote on March 8. Thank you.
Bristol's polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Marian Center on 17 West Shore Road.
William "Bill" Cote