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With the absentee votes now counted, the final tally shows that of 2967 ballots cast, Bill Gouldman received 1440 (53%) and Anthony Williams received 1253 (46%). Mr. Gouldman’s surprising response to these numbers was to indicate that “the voters spoke, and spoke loudly” in support of him. Really? If I held a position working for 100 people, and 46 of them wanted me removed, I’d be mortified.
Mr. Gouldman claims his 53% is a mandate, and notes that his victory comes after facing “powerful forces” in this campaign. The most powerful force that I observed was in the voters themselves, of whom 46% cast a vote saying they wanted things done differently. In his victory speech, Mr. Gouldman wrote that “there was a clear choice between two different directions and you have chosen the one that will keep us moving forward.” That too seems odd, as Mr. Williams’ almost singular message was that there is no transparency, no communication, and no actual representation in the way Mr. Gouldman serves as Legislator. So if there were two different directions, and Mr. Williams favored communication with his constituents and a more open government, what exactly was Mr. Gouldman claiming was his direction?
We heard some voters say that Bill Gouldman “seems like a nice man.” And we agree. He is a nice man. I like Bill. Many people like Bill. We simply want our Legislator to let us know what is going on, to listen to our opinions, and then to speak for us. Bill Gouldman, please reconsider what the message of this election really was. You represent us – not the other eight County Legislators or the County Executive. We want you to be our ears; tell us what you hear discussed in County Government. We want you to be our eyes; tell us what you see going on in County Government. And we want you to be our voice; give us information, seek our input and counsel, and then represent us to our County Government. You don’t have to do this alone. We’ll work with you. Don’t forget us.
Michael S. Bennett
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