All Candidates Should Be Congratulated

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Win or lose, the candidates who sought election this week are to be congratulated.

Public service has many drawbacks and few rewards, yet an array of experienced politicos stepped up for the job of mayor: Barbara Brewer, Jim Chase and Ken Murphy. They should be acknowledged and thanked for their dedication to their fellow residents and our town.

An equal tribute is due to the novices who came forward to seek office: Diana Sexton, George Barriger, Tim Fruth, Vernon Randall and John Wilson. They were willing to set aside their lives to serve us and this community.

We hope as Barbara Brewer and Jim Chase face one another in the campaign to the general election, they will seek the support of voters with dignity and good grace, avoiding the easy trap of mudslinging.

It is also our hope that the men and women already in their camps will represent their chosen candidate in an honorable way.

As for the rest of us, we have a duty to remain vigilant in our oversight of the seated town council. There is an unfortunate history in politics of those leaving office trying to push through special agendas in the twilight of their tenure -- a case in point, Bill Clinton's federal land grab in the name of his legacy.

In the coming months we should take it upon ourselves to pay attention to business coming before the council and be quick to question if it is for the true good of the community. If it is not and it still wins approval, then the new council and mayor will waste precious time trying to undo problems before real and productive work can begin.

We have an urgent request for the new mayor and council when they take their oaths and step up to the dais -- do the public's business in public. Become so familiar with the few reasons for an executive session you can recite them.

The only legal purposes for holding an executive session are:

1. Discussion or consideration of personnel decisions (this is limited to discussions relating to an individual employee and all or a class of employees).

2. Discussion or consideration of records exempt by law from public inspection.

3. Discussion or consultation for legal advice with the public body's attorneys, including consideration of the public body's position and instruction of its attorneys in pending or contemplated litigation.

4. Discussions or consultations with representatives regarding negotiations with employee organizations on the subject of salaries, salary schedules or other compensation.

5. Discussions for international and interstate negotiations, or negotiations with Indian tribes.

6. Discussions to consider position and instructions regarding negotiations for the purchase of real property.

So, new councilors and mayoral candidates, the voters have entrusted you with their future -- do well by us.

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