It's July 2017. Every month the New Hartford Town Crier shows up in my mailbox around the first of the month. It arrived 3 days early and I scanned it for political ads. To my surprise, the current Legislator from New Hartford (Jim D'Onofrio, D-15) has written a nice little script entitled I'm Jim, and this is Mary. Ah, I'm betting he didn't actually write it; rather, it was written by a ghost writeress. In any event, there it was in black and white for everybody to see.
Instead of promoting himself as a candidate seeking re-election (which he is), most of the essay is a blatant political endorsement of Mrs. Pratt. She's smart, she's learning... good gosh, I was left wondering if she can leap tall buildings in a single leap or is more powerful than a steam locomotive. Of course, what Mr. D'Onofrio is saying is codswallop. As somebody on the Board of Legislators for ... 26 or 27 years now and counting, I was surprised at his naivety. Jim, what happens if she loses? Are you going to be sitting next to me and suddenly be my best friend? Perhaps you haven't noticed that this race is heating up and I'm campaigning non-stop to get my message out - and my message is being well-received in the district.
It's no secret that Mr. Picente has been busy making phone calls on Mrs. Pratt's behalf. Political grapevines often rumble and the word gets back to me one way or another.
So, not only am I running against Mr. Picente's poor ideas via his rubber-stamp appointed proxy - a Casino downtown sandwiched between a proposed new hospital and a drug rehabilitation facility (not to mention the Aud, Police/Court buildings and a new indoors shooting range), now I'm running against Jim D'Onofrio also.
No problem, Jim. I've always considered you a nice guy. But one of the things I'm running on is introducing terms limits, and you are Exhibit A.
After watching our county decline over the last 4 decades, and considering the vast majority of it has happened on your watch, I'm kind of left wondering why the idea of term limits hasn't been addressed on the Legislative floor already. Perhaps it's because the idea of it would have kicked you out of office years ago, and of course the idea of that doesn't really sit well with you.
There's an anecdote about baby's diapers and politicians... and why they both need to be changed on a regular basis. Considering how well the county is doing right now (significant loss of population, highest sales tax in the state outside NY City, etc) I want to thank you for removing any trepidation I might have had about bringing this idea forth. And so it is with pride I say:
If elected, I promise I will not run for or serve more than 3 terms. And I applaud any other candidate who promises the same.
The time to pass the torch to the next generation is sooner than you think. If we don't, we will continue to live with the same old stale ideas which will result in the continuation of the decline we've been in for over 4 decades now. With 23 members of the County Legislature, staggering the terms will insure that the entire board will not be swept out in 1 election, and the continuity of running the county will safely continue.
Or, as Einstein famously said, The definition of insanity is doing things the same way and expecting different results.
Let's at least talk about the ideas on the floor. I suspect the idea of term limits will not be well-received, but the discussion has to start at some point.
I respectfully ask for your vote on both Primary Day (Sept 12) and Election Day (Nov 7).
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For the cruciverbalists in the #nohospitaldowntown group: