The Block Island Times
http://block-island.villagesoup.com/p/1095285

Editorial: Choosing a new member an important step for the council

Dec 29, 2013

Five individuals have forwarded their names to the Town Council that they may be considered to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Sean McGarry. The first thing we need to do is offer our thanks to these five: Gary Ryan, Mark Emmanuelle, Allan MacKay, Howell Conant and Les Slate. Working on any municipal board is a tough job, often thankless, and requires dedication and the relinquishing of any spare time one may have. So our thanks, and the thanks of our community, goes out to them.

These are five people — we can’t call them candidates because they’re not really running for election — from varied backgrounds and who serve in various and important ways for this community. The personalities among the five are also different — a good thing, because it gives the sitting members of the council a wide range from which to choose.

We’re not going to endorse any specific candidate. The council will do due diligence and choose the one person the members feel is right for the job. What we will caution against, however, is to avoid complacency. The council should not choose someone they simply like, or agree with politically. The person who is eventually seated on the council must do everything possible to work civilly with the other members, but not be afraid to stir the pot a little. We know this can get uncomfortable, but the attitude of “this is the way it’s always been done” can no longer stand. The island needs to change some of the ways in which it does business.

We know the members of the council take their roles seriously. We wish them luck, and we hope that the eventual choice is one that’s made for the island as a whole, rather than one that simply fits the most comfortably with the incumbent majority.

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