In a Nov. 5 editorial we urged people to get out and vote, saying change in government only occurs when people mobilize over a cause and vote with the majority.
Holding an elected position is not an inalienable right, and anyone who decides to run for office must keep in mind they are at the mercy of the will of the people. Go against that, and you’re subject to be removed from the job.
Nowhere was that more evident this election year than in Crown Point, where voters sent a clear message that they didn’t like the way the board went about eliminating its board of assessors in favor of a sole, appointed assessor.
The town board voted in favor of the move in July, in front of a room packed with emotionally charged residents, many of whom pleaded for a town-wide vote on the subject. Instead, Supervisor Bethany Kosmider joined with trustees Yvonne DuShane and Bob Patnode and adopted the move by a 3-2 vote. Trustees Charles Mazurowski and Tom Walters opposed it.
Under state law, the vote is irreversible.
After the vote, Crown Point assessor Stephen Mackay, shouted “They are going down,” referring to Kosmider, Patnode and DuShane. Soon after, Carl Ross, chairman of the board of assessors, said, “These people are not going to be re-elected.”
And, on Election Day, that’s precisely what happened to incumbents Kosmider and Dushane, who were each soundly defeated. Patnode’s term wasn’t up this election cycle, thus his fate rests in the next go-round.
Obviously feeling empowered and wanting change, Crown Point voters turned out in droves, casting 824 ballots from a total 1,305 registered voters — one of the highest turn outs in the county.
When the dust settled, the people had spoken — supporters of the assessors hit the polls and swayed the vote. Republican Charles Harrington will be sworn in as the next Crown Point supervisor Jan. 1 and Tara Peters will take her seat on the board alongside Mazurowski, Walters and Patnode.
And, while it is too late to reverse the assessor vote, it appears the group will hold a voting majority on the board.
Now it is time to move on — because the town needs it.
From verbal to physical assaults to spreading rumors to reports of running one another off the road and even gunfire, this issue has divided the otherwise tranquil lakeside community in a near Hatfield vs. Mccoy feud.
But this isn’t West Virginia, and the year isn’t 1878.
This squabble has disrupted town business, it has pitted friends and neighbors against one another. It has wasted town and personal resources that could have been better spent on making the community stronger.
Further, it has put the town — with all it has to offer — in a negative light to tourists, passersby and those who also might someday call Crown Point home.
That furthers the agenda of no one.
In a letter to this newspaper, Crown Point resident Kathy Caswell probably said it best when she said the taunts and signs degrade all Crown Point residents and “make us look ignorant to those who are passing through.”
Caswell urged her fellow Crown Pointers to follow the lead set by the sign at The Frenchman’s Restaurant which reads “Treat our neighbors with respect.”
The people have spoken, the electoral process has worked. Now it is time to again treat one another with respect.
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