Friday, November 21, 2014

If you had to do it all over again would you?

So, here we are in the final stretch of the recall process. We've gone from wondering if recall organizers could get enough signatures to wondering if the Mayor would get enough voided out to avoid a recall, to wondering if the Mayor could be on both parts of the ballot, to wondering if his name should go first, to wondering if there should be a preliminary, to wondering how many flaws a recall law can possibly have!

So, like I said we're in the final stretch and we very likely could see an end result that has Mayor Flanagan recalled on the first part of the ballot, only to win election on the second part of the ballot. For all the people out there who think this whole recall process is a waste of money won't this just be an "I told you so" moment. Of course there are those who support the recall that think that Judge McGuire's ruling is idiotic or the fix is in or something. I think the truth is  McGuire probably made the right call both on Flanagan being a candidate and on there being no preliminary election. Logically, it doesn't make sense. It seems pretty clear what the intent of the recall law is and having someone recalled in part one only to have them as a candidate in part two seems pretty stupid. Having a preliminary would seem to make a lot of sense because it would narrow down the field of candidates to two and limit the advantage an incumbent with a united base of support might have. But what's intended and what's legal are two different things. Your great aunt could tell you she wants to leave you a nice cash inheritance when she goes but if the will doesn't stipulate it legally you might be out of luck. I spoke to a friend of mine who is a lawyer about Flanagan being a candidate and after he read the ruling he thought McGuire made the right call. After McGwire decision about the preliminary I read his ruling and have to admit it sounds like he got it right again. Also I have to imagine that if the judge ruled the other way, decided despite his legal findings that the intent was clear, these would just become points of appeal for the Flanagan camp. 

But hey, all's not lost! If the people who want to recall the mayor get their vote out and unite behind a candidate Flanagan can still be ousted from office! Yeah, good luck with that! Following some of the discussion on the internet, well Facebook really, what I see is people firmly behind "their" candidate and not a lot of people who seem undecided or even unwilling to budge. Don't get me wrong I think most recall supporters are willing to back one candidate, just as long as it is their candidate. Still, it's a recall election in December, at Christmas time. It's impossible to say what sort of voter turnout we'll have, and that means, that really it's anybody's race. Flanagan has an advantage but if any of his challengers can spark the city's voters to come out and cast a ballot, who knows?

But that brings me to my original thought for this post. If you had to do it all over again would you? If you're one of the original 12 who organized this are you now thinking if you knew about all the loopholes and how everything would pretty much go the Mayor's way that you wouldn't have bothered? What if you're one of the ones who signed the petition in some store parking lot. Do you now wish you didn't? Do you now think if you hadn't you could have helped avoid a bunch of BS and expense? If you have a candidate that you like are you now thinking of staying home on December 16th because, heck the Mayor is just going to win so what's the point?  

I really don't know how many people read anything I blog anymore but I really would love to know what people feel and if they feel this has all been a wasted effort. My take on this? I would sign the recall petition just as eagerly today as I did then. The "intent" behind the recall act is still valid.People should have a right to replace ineffective leadership, flaws and all I support the principal behind the recall law. If on December 16th the majority vote NOT to recall Will Flanagan then he should go forward knowing the majority of those who care to voice their opinion stand behind him. However, if Flanagan IS recalled in the first part of the ballot but manages to win election, I think it's still a victory for those who support the recall. He clearly won't have the support of the people he leads. Will he get the message? I'm not sure but it would be interesting to see how he would handle that and clearly put the focus on 2015. And this is why I also think you should vote for the candidate you think is the best to lead the city forward because the focus is going to be on 2015. People are afraid to vote for a candidate they don't think can win and a candidate who gets strong support now is going to be considered that more seriously then. If the the whole recall does nothing more than get more people involved in their local government then its been a success and well worth the money spent. 


12 comments:

James Michney said...

In a previous comment, I discussed whether or not the recall process would indeed benefit my city. Reflecting on the post, I think that it could be a win-win situation. Should the mayor lose, his replacement is well aware of what things not to do and perhaps can get a jump start on the next election cycle. Conversely, if the mayor is allowed to complete his term, he can accomplish some redemption by serving with honor and stifling the urge to be vindictive.
As for me, I'm still struggling with the choices offered. I'm trying to wipe out the negative impression in my head when Cadime and the his partner in crime (?Almeida) ran their two ring circus act during school committee meetings. I would contrast their behavior versus the Diman Voc meetings where the participants seemed vested in the school and student best interests rather than generating critical noise. Has Shawn grown up enough to lead my city?

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