Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Local Politics

Here in the little town of Delanco we have, for the first time in recent memory, a contested election for two seats on the township committee. One of the incumbents, Kathleen Quinn, was appointed to her seat on September 21st to replace John Browne after his resignation. She is running for a full 3-year term against Fernand C. Ouellette. The other incumbent, Phil Brackett, was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Victor Vittorino's resignation, and is running to complete the remaining 13 months of the term against Ed Devinney.
My first instinct is to back my party's candidates. Unfortunately, I've seen no communication from them to help me understand their positions. I don't know them personally, and they don't appear to have a web site. Also unfortunately, Delanco has operated under one-party rule for quite some time, and my party's candidates are the incumbents.
The challengers, on the other hand, have been visibly active over the last year. They have opposed a redevelopment plan that would have abused eminent domain, dug into the background of the whole Columns fiasco, and they even have a web site.
So this election comes down to a question of direction. Do the resignations of two township committee members signal enough of a change, or is it necessary to split the township committee 4-1 or 3-2 between parties? One of my readers approached me during the town-wide yard sale over the weekend, and asked if I would be supporting the Democrats because of my position on the Columns issue. I haven't decided yet, and am not sure that I will decide before election day.