I’ve previously discussed my political plans elsewhere. At that time, I discussed my desire to help maintain West Brookfield’s strong finances and to help manage economic growth. As I’ve talked to an increasing number of West Brookfield residents, I would also add strengthening confidence in the quality of Town services as an important issue.
I think that there are two things that the Board of Selectmen could do to improve public confidence. The first is to build on efforts already made to improve communications between Town boards and the public. Part of that improved communication should include encouraging attendance at Town Meetings and participation on Town boards. The second thing is for the Board of Selectmen to institute professional goal setting and performance reviews for the department heads that report to the Board. The Selectmen should be holding the major department heads accountable for the services that their departments provide in a consistent, fair, and professional manner.
I am excited about this campaign. I am looking forward to talking with the people of West Brookfield about how we can manage and plan for the future. I moved to West Brookfield with my family because of the quality of life it offers. I hope to be part of what preserves this quality of life going forward.
One step that I am expecting to happen within the next few weeks is the launching of a campaign website. Stay tuned.
Here’s my best piece of advice for winning: ID your likely voters (using previous election results) and make human contact with them (door to door is best, phones are good too).
Part of that improved communication should include encouraging… participation on Town boards.
p>…means a whole heck of a lot. Twenty years ago, I participated in a town board here in Wellesley. We spent a number of hours examining the issue (interestingly, it was insurance, an issue that has come to the fore in recent years). We presented our initial proposal, and were prepared to continue working. After we presented our initial proposal to the selectmen, we were thanked for our efforts, which were immediatetly thereafter completely ignored. And the committee was disbanded. So much for volunteering to participate on a town board.
p>That soured me on participation in town government:. Town government is corrupt, on a smaller scale than state and federal government, but corrupt nonetheless.
Your efforts ending up in a report on a shelf gathering dust does not imply that your town gov’t [or any other town gov’t, for that matter] is corrupt.
p>That’s not to say with certainty that it isn’t, but simply that the ignoring of a report from a citizen volunteer board doesn’t imply corruption.
You are unaware of what I have previously written here about the facts leading up to the disbandment (which I have related here before), and the fact that the selectmen unceremoniously disbanded the committee without allowing us to continue our work. The town’s then insurance broker paid off the town manager at our last committee meeting, before our very eyes.
p>It was immediatly thereafter that the selectmen disbanded our committee. Corrupt? Most certainly yes.
Just show up and shake hands at Howard’s Drive In on a Friday night and you’ll meet the entire population of West Brookfield.
Good luck, stay above the fray. The will be lucky to have you.
You go, David! Good luck.
Best of luck!
As stated below, the most important thing in a local race is the number of contacts — contact everyone, all the time, hop out of your car when you’re driving by the ice cream place and shake a couple hands, etc. It’s good to have a quick 2 minute handshake speech, “I’m running for office to improve things, I’ve been here X years and want to contribute to my community, here’s a couple of my quick ideas to improve town government” — watch people’s reaction on your word and phrase choice and adjust accordingly, within a couple weeks you’ll have it boiled down to something that, for whatever reason, works on the majority of people you meet. That’s your copy for your mailing. No point in wasting 2,000 dollars sending out a mailing that turns people off because of the phrasing. Tune the message and get a mailing delivered to every voting household the weekend before election day with a reminder of the date and time polls are open.
p>That’s last month before the election stuff though.. which really seems to be what matters most in local races from my limited experience. Before then, people just aren’t tuned in aside from your “hard” supporters.. so get all your “hard” supporters in your corner early. You can put up signs 30 days before the election, so have permission for all your spots and your signs made before that, then you run around like a madman one weekend a month before voting day and all of a sudden you’re a front runner with a huge base of support around town, even if it’s only 200 households. It looks impressive, best way to be taken seriously if you’ve never run before.
You ought to write a book! 😉
Some may get the impression from Jay’s e-mail that all towns allow signs to go up 30 days before the election. It actually varies, and quite a bit, from town to town. Some towns have no time limits. Others have a six week limit. I have even heard reports of two week time limits.
Work hard, win big! You are one of the smartest MA bloggers out there (sorry, David, hehe) and extremely well-rounded. Best of luck!
I meant, BMG David. LOL
you said “one of,” right? 😉
I really appreciate everyone’s advice and good wishes. It has been a while since I’ve done this – 23 years to be precise since I ran for re-election to the Sharon School Committee. It never hurts to be reminded of what it takes to be successful at this level.
p>I think that the personal contact that more than one of you discusses will be very important in this campaign – especially since West Brookfield is such a small community. However, I expect that I’ll be using the full array of tools available to communicate with voters – traditional as well as newfangled.
p>My campaign will need money and volunteer leg power. Anyone inclined to provide either, should contact me – deisenthal at charter dot net. For those of you who are bloggers, any discussion you feel comfortable engaging in could be helpful. Even in a campaign like this, blog buzz could be helpful in attracting the attention of the MSM. While the campaign will have an MSM strategy, the blog buzz could be a nice supplement.
p>Thanks again for your good wishes.