There Is a Season

I have a longstanding fondness for a song I first heard The Byrds perform and later learned that the immortal Pete Seeger had composed. The lyrics to “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, which come from the Book of Ecclesiastes, speak of accepting change in its manifold forms, both good and bad, but with a spirit of hopefulness. As our national and local election seasons enter the penultimate day, I am hopeful that the outcomes will lead to “a time for peace”.

On a personal level, my post-election calendar is less full than it has been since January. The annual holiday season gathering of the Geduldig Clan lies ahead, and opportunities to whittle away at the household “honey-do” list, largely neglected this past year, is on the horizon. I welcome the prospects of returning to some sense of home front normalcy, at least until the new year.

With so many variables at play in our local election, I feel less prescient than ever about the results of the balloting tomorrow. My highest hope, regardless of who ends up as the mayor-, council-, and school board members-elect, is that we will have a true “win” for the city. We need people of integrity, talent, maturity, empathy, good sense, and good will filling those positions. Whether or not I am one of them, I will continue to participate in the democratic process by contributing my best ideas and efforts to improving our Portsmouth for all of our neighbors. I urge all my fellow residents to do the same.

I thank my fellow candidates for putting their talents and energies into seeking to serve our city and all my neighbors who have or will cast ballots in Election 2016 for making the wheels of democracy turn. Sir Winston Churchill said that this form of government is the very worst, except for all the others that humankind has tried at various times. Its only chance to improve lies in citizens informing themselves about issues and office seekers before making their selections.

I look forward to seeing many of you, my fellow citizens, at the polls across our city tomorrow. May our efforts make this a season of change for the better. Choose wisely!

Of Political Signage and Presumed Alliances

An approximation of the image in the original posting
An approximation of the image in the original posting

A Facebook acquaintance posted a picture on the timeline of an influential Portsmouth political action committee recently. It shows a well-known residential property that has hosted a variety of political signs over the course of many election seasons with the owners’ current selections. The caption supplied by the person posting was the time-worn saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. The inference I drew from this commentary was that sign proximity indicates personal affinity. Continue reading Of Political Signage and Presumed Alliances

My Top Three Priorities

Perhaps the question most frequently posed, in one form or another, to a candidate is “List your top three priorities in order of importance and explain why those and in that order.” Normally, the parties making the inquiry provide either too little time or space to answer the question fully. For the benefit of the electorate, I offer the following. Continue reading My Top Three Priorities

Pandora’s Box Version 2.0?

A friend opened a thread on her Facebook timeline in response to a recent Virginian-Pilot editorial offering us, as is the practice of the editorial board, their omniscient guidance out of the error of our ways. (See http://pilotonline.com/opinion/editorial/virginian-pilot-editorial-to-progress-portsmouth-needs-new-unity/article_b1bf0162-4610-5c6d-b854-0bd1265e6401.html.)  My friend felt that the V-P was less than evenhanded in its distribution of criticism, an assessment that I share. Our mayor, who has so often refused to comment in the press on matters of concern to the public, used the relatively “safe harbor” of our mutual friend’s timeline to fire a broadside against both the V-P in particular and the news media in general. (The transcript of his remarks is available here.) Out of respect for the sensibilities of the host, I have chosen to house my critique of the Mayor’s comments, and any subsequent reader responses, in my own space. Continue reading Pandora’s Box Version 2.0?