Although most of the nation waited expectantly for news of who will be our next President, I fell asleep before even the local results were in.
It was a long day for me, campaigning for the ten candidates I supported for Charter Commission. I couldn’t vote for all ten, obviously — and it was hard to narrow my choices down to seven. But they’re a fine group of people, including some folks new to city politics that I hope to see on the ballot again someday.
Five of ours were elected: Gene Caldwell, Pat Postma, Leonard Abbatiello, Chuck Agle, and David McCoy. Girlfriend pointed out in an early morning e-mail that the youngest one elected is 50-something… wondering if some of the town’s seniors bought into the idea spread by some of the opposition that the future of the Senior Center depended on election of the "right" candidates for Charter Commission.
That’s just silly, of course, but no sillier than some of the other half-truths or outright falsehoods spread during the campaign.
I’m also grateful for our five candidates who ran but were not elected: Mary Helen Rose, who is knowledgeable about the Charter; Ella DuBose, who served on the Charter Review Committee and is someone I’d really like to see continue in public life in Oak Ridge; Paula Flowers, a relative newcomer to Oak Ridge but with tremendous expertise and insight into the types of issues we’re dealing with; Scott Linn, a history teacher at Jefferson who is reasonable, personable, and brings perspective to our challenges; and Mike Mahathy, a health physicist who is a bundle of energy with great ideas, and committed to the future of this City.
Everyone put in a great deal of work, with most devoting as much (or more) effort to the success of the whole as to their personal campaigns. That, to me, is a tremendous statement of readiness for public office — a willingness to put the success of an idea or effort above one’s personal goals.
Folks, my hat’s off to all of you.