Beth Shorten Isn’t Voting For …

By on April 7, 2017

VotingForXHopefully you’re aware that on Tuesday, May 9, there is an election in town. There are six residents who are running for three slots on our Town Council.

You may not think this is an important election because it’s not national. We’re not voting for a new president or new state representation. May 9 is a municipal non-partisan election and if you think it’s not important, I’d argue that you are wrong. This is as local as it gets and the people who sit on our Town Council make the decisions that affect our day-to-day life.

Taking this into consideration, I can firmly say this:
I am NOT voting for Kevin Ryan because he is an incumbent;
I am NOT voting for Jack McEvoy because he is my neighbor;
I am NOT voting for Donna Cannizzaro because she belongs the same church as I do;
I am NOT voting for Carrie Ford because she is related to a friend;
I am NOT voting to Ted Giblin because he has children; and
I am NOT voting for Christopher Piccuirro because he is “new” to Verona (relatively speaking).

So who AM I voting for? Seems like I have nixed all the candidates, right? But I haven’t. I have just listed reasons why I am would not vote for a candidate. A nice smile and a firm handshake are good qualities, but they are not a good reason to vote for someone. This is an election, not a popularity contest. (Which sadly some elections turn into.) I’m not voting for someone for reasons that do not pertain to how they would perform as a member of the Town Council. I AM voting for the candidates that have identified issues that I feel are important to Verona and have outlined ways to solve problems in our towns. (In the case of Mayor Ryan, not only do I need to identify what he says he WILL do but what he HAS done.)

MyVeronaNJ.com has done a wonderful job with a weekly series of questions that each candidate as answered. (Yes, I realize that I am extremely biased on that front.) But that’s not enough. There will be a forum where the candidates can speak on Wednesday, April 26, at Congregation Beth Ahm. (Because let’s face it some people speak better than they write and vice versa.) Most of the candidates have websites or social media sites where you can learn more about them and their views. I’d advise checking those out as well (even if you think you know a candidate). Perhaps most importantly, several candidates have “meet and greets”. Getting to know a candidate and his/her views on a face to face basis BEFORE the election seems to be a no-brainer.

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May 9 will be here before you know it. Cast your vote based on what’s important to you and not on how long a person has lived in town or what sign is on your neighbor’s lawn. (Yes, lawn signs are up again in Verona; one has even mysteriously appeared on my front lawn. Be courteous of your neighbor’s views even if they differ from yours. And for those of us who have lawn signs, let’s be good neighbors and take them down on May 10.) As residents of Verona we have an opportunity to get to know those who will be on our Town Council. As responsible citizens we should take the time to educate ourselves on each candidate and vote with confidence.

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Beth Shorten is a life-long resident of Verona. For more than four years, she has been chronicling life here on her personal site, Bfth’s Boring Blog.

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