Now that the election is beginning to recede into memory, inquiring minds are wondering how Supervisor-elect Will Wadsworth will deal with the thorny issues surrounding the Newman PDD application. Although Will campaigned as a pro-Lowe’s advocate, he was remarkably quiet on the process issues of how to get there. About the most I recall him saying is that he wanted to, “trust the process,” whatever that means.

An early sign of just how much Will wants to trust the current personnel of the Planning Board will come when former Chairman John Zmich’s  7-year term expires on Dec. 31. One of the first orders of business at the town’s organizational meeting in early January will be to either re-appoint John for another 7 years or appoint a more Lowe’s-friendly replacement.

Zmich has butted heads with the current Supervisor over the Newman matter for the past two years. In his final statement before the election, Mr. Kennison accused John of taking more legal advice from Bill Lofquist than he did from the town’s attorneys. Judging from the biased legal advice that had been offered by Underberg and Kessler during most of last year, that seems like good judgment to me.

John’s removal from the chairmanship last January combined with the failure to reappoint Craig Macauley at the end of his term created much ill will that probably was a major factor in both Wes and Hop losing the Democratic endorsement. If Will follows suit by replacing John, it will be a bad sign for any hope for consensus or healing of the wounds that are still festering from this divisive battle.

There is, of course, an argument to be made that good government principles would preclude replacing a key board member in the middle of a long and complicated matter. However, when did good government ever get in the way of politics around here?

Even if Will was disposed to re-apppoint John, however, he might have trouble rounding up a third vote.  The Triumvirate (from the Latin “of three men”) of Mike Tenalio, Hop and David certainly have the votes if they want to block the appointment and continue Wes’s hardball ways, but will they?

That will be an early sign of how much Mike has learned from the election results and how badly he wants to be re-elected in 723 days and counting.

5 responses to “Signs

  1. Why leave Mr. Zmich in? It makes no sense. If Will Wadsworth wants to build consensus, then Zmich should go as he is not a consensus builder. Why would a strong supporter of Lowe’s want to keep another anti-Lowe’s member on the board? Again, it makes no sense. Perhaps you are thinking the longer the anti-Lowe’s people have some influence (which is dwindling, by the way) there is a chance that this thing will drag on till another election. I don’t think so.

    With respect to Mr. Kennsion’s comment about Bill Lofquist legal expertise, Mr. Lofquist is not a lawyer (although he plays one on TV) so why would Mr. Zmich take his legal advice. Besides, from a legal standpoint, I doubt that Bill Lofquist is as smart as he thinks he is. He may be an intelligent individual, and I’ll agree he is well spoken and good with the written word, but, he is not an attorney. You should know as well as anyone that someone who is not an attorney should not try to practice law.

  2. I certainly hope that this matter will not still be going on two years from now in the next town election. I agree that not re-appointing John would be the standard political thing to do.

    I believe it was no less an authority than Richard Nixon who said that politics is about rewarding your friends and punishing your enemies – although Tricky Dicky may have taken that a bit too far! Still, Nixon went to China, and Will has run as a nice guy who will build consensus, and that usually means not shutting out contrary points of view.

    As far as Mr. Lofquist’s legal skills, they are as good as I have ever seen for somebody who never went to law school, and better than many who did. The suggestion that he was giving John Zmich legal advice or attempting to practice law, however, is absurd, as is the implication that John did anything improper as Chairman.

    Whether John is re-appointed or not, he should be saluted for doing the right thing for Geneseo and standing up to Wes’s, Newman’s and Underberg & Kessler’s sleazy hardball tactics.

  3. Here! Here!

  4. Or should it be Hear, Hear?

  5. Greg:

    Will is my very good friend. You should not be surprised to learn that, throughout the election, he told me that he respected the passion I had for a campaign against Lowes. He respects people who stand up and are counted for that in which they believe. Consensus builders begin by respecting all sides and views. The process must begin with that.

    Were Will not to reappoint Mr. Zmich, it would be understandable but it would also mean there would be no consensus building only unanimity building. Ideally, you build consensus from a group of stake holders of divergent views. Whether he reappoints Mr. Zmich or not, I know Will no doubt will want to talk with him at length and to learn from him first hand of his stand.

    That is the measure of Will Wadsworth. He is in perpetual learning and listening mode. I am sorry that you live at such a distance that you cannot more clearly see the daily workings here of connectivity and the compromises we make all of the time. The anti-Lowes people such as I are not going to be found the morning after a defeat deflated on our front lawns like so many air-filled Christmas decorations. Would you roll over and die if the anti-Lowes people had won?

    We will just utilize our energies and enthusiasm to make certain that we get the best Lowe’s possible, should the facility be truly on its way. Anti-Lowe’s people also will turn their energies to the successful completion of a master plan under an administration of consensus building headed by Will. Remember, we are all residents here. None of us is outside the bounds of the civilized world as you know it.

    Best to you from Jean

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