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Election reflections

The following was taken from a letter sent to supporters that may have relevance to a broader audience:

Thank you all for your support during the campaign and on election day earlier this week.  Your warm support of a new candidate on the scene was enormously helpful and kept me going through weeks of cold weather campaigning!

I have congratulated John DeMaro on his victory and he and I intend to get together to discuss budget matters, personnel staffing, outsourcing, St. Paul’s and communications over coffee meetings in the coming weeks.

I also intend to be a “regular” at budget workshops and trustee and POA meetings beginning on 2/14. I will miss the budget and trustee meetings this week due to a conflict that cannot be canceled, but I have arranged to have these meetings covered.

I was asked to run by friends in the community and, with your help, we gathered some wonderful resources to mount an impressive campaign. We visited 90% of the homes in the Estates and met personally with at least 25% of the homeowners, leaving behind information cards with those who weren’t available. We also mailed oversized postcards to every home in the days leading up to the Election. On Election Day itself, we covered the railroads and either “robo-called” or live-called all homes to remind people to vote.

The results of the election were 335-208. This represents a total turnout of only 10-15% of the eligible electorate. There are undoubtedly lessons to be derived from this experience and opinions as to why this election did not resonate to a higher turnout. I would be inclined to take this personally but our results seemed to track with turnout statistics in the two other POA areas that hosted challenge elections.

It would be great if we could all spend a little more time thinking and talking with all our friends and neighbors about our local government. Perhaps with more conversation, interest levels will rise and with that perhaps the level of debate will follow.

There’s a perception in the village that this is all about politics and polarizing viewpoints, on St. Paul’s especially. It doesn’t have to be so. This is about neighbors living together in community and deciding how to arrive at a common ground on a very large array of issues that everyone can be pleased with.

I hope to continue in a manner that makes you proud of your association with me at the earliest stages of my involvement – thanks again for your friendship!

Greg Blair
GCBob February 02, 2013 at 08:51 AM
Mr. Blair, the latest statics I can fiound show that Garden City has a population of about 22k residents with about 75% eligible to vote. Unfortunately your numbers only represent less than 4%. Apathy, is what we are dealing with at all levels. Let someone else do it seems to be to common. I would be interested in your thoughts to turn this around.
Greg Blair February 02, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Mr. Orosz, I don't know the answer. If my number is 4%, then John DeMaro's number is 6% and the total is 10%, which is an embarrassingly low plurality for a community with the educational and socio-economic demographics of Garden City. The fault lies not with the electorate, but with a failure of those of us who care about the issues to engage those who are disengaged. Perhaps this stems from the fact that local government typically performs basic services at an adequate level at an historically acceptable cost. When issues of high controversy arise, costs escalate dramatically or services decline unacceptably, the attention of residents is re-engaged. So, maybe the detachment is an indicator that all is well?
GCBob February 02, 2013 at 05:09 PM
In talking to residents the theme seems to be that it costs a lot to live in Garden City and they have little choice but to pay the going rate. I believe the question should be, Why does it costs so much and is their a better way? I read recently that the cost of living index has an average of 100 for the nation In 2012 while Garden City comes in at 164.1 or 64.1% above the national average for the cost of just the basics. I checked my math and if there is about 22k residents and 75% are eligible to vote,or about 16k, then you received 1.3% and John received 2.1 for a total of about 3.4% in all, which does not even come close in representing the public by any means.
Greg Blair February 02, 2013 at 05:35 PM
3.4% of village overall, but slightly higher since those numbers are for the Estates only. In any event, we're splitting hairs. If you'd like to meet for coffee (I would) please email grgblair@gmail.com. I like the way you think.
kent penney February 05, 2013 at 07:40 AM
There is no inflation, just ask the Federal Reserve. Things like gas, healthcare, food, and public schooling don't matter because the price of flat panels is decreasing. Really, w/ a little salt and pepper, you can feed a family of four on a 24" Samsung.

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