Monday, November 14, 2005

Back from the Dead

Real life got in the way of this blog at the most inopportune time, keeping me away from giving my insight and commentary during one of the more interesting local elections in a very long time. That isn't really true though. I don't consider myself one of the liberal illuminati, one who electronically downloads what you should think directly into your soul by way of a Pentium chip. No, I'm probably a lot like you. I surf around, read some articles, and then respond to it. No ulterior motives other than I like to write. That's it.

That should be quite enough about me. I have better things to write about, and I insist that you must have better things you could be reading.

So let's get to the interesting stuff, shall we?

Over at The Political Notebook, Mike Caputo pens this article which takes stock in how things shook out following the election, and the fallout in the wake of Irondequoit supervisor upset. Democratic challenger Mary Ellen Heyman beat incumbent Republican David Schantz in what was likely the big upset of this year. Mike starts down an interesting path with this:

The County Legislature is still in the hands of the GOP, but they have a lot of new faces in the mix. Perhaps they will still have a common interest with County Executive Maggie Brooks' administration and they will let her take the lead. But maybe, if the budget situation remains bumpy, they will start breaking away.
But doesn't take it to its next logical step. With the tobacco settlement money gone, which I wrote of here, it will be increasingly more difficult to hold property taxes constant and continue to balance the county budget. This presents a real opportunity for competent democratic candidates to make inroads in the County Legislature. I think that is the greatest pitfall facing the Monroe County GoP, considering how much they've banked on their ability to keep property taxes low (or more accurately, their growth in check).

Caputo also teases at the fallout within the County Democrats ranks with the election of Duffy as Mayor.
It's progress. But Democrats still have to craft a message that will work in places outside the city. And the mayor's race picked at the scab of dissention among Democratic leaders. Should internal division linger over the next few years, and should the Duffy administration stagger out of the gate, well, that would make things far more difficult for the party in the coming years.
It could come to pass that if the county budget should start to give under its own weight, the message could craft itself. But there is some time before that happens.

Nico penned some results from around the 'Cuse and all of western NY that involved party changes like we got in Irondequoit. Also you can read the Prop 1 postmortem here.

Krestia Degorge still hasn't posted anything over at City Paper yet. When he does, I'll be sure to link to it.

What do I think about the elections? I'm flattered you asked. I think people made the right choices. Ultimately, with the exception of Irondequoit, people voted in favor of keeping things in the same hands as they were previously. Mayor-elect Duffy is the logical extension of the Johnson administration (which voters largely agreed with, Duffy being the only candidate that thought the city was on the right track), the county legislature stayed in Republican hands, and most towns continued dancing with the dates that brought them. This also indicated something else. Despite the spate of violence, Kodak's layoffs, and Delphi on life support, there hasn't been anything in the community that has really changed the dynamic of power. If anything, that should be a good sign that life in The Flower City is not as perilous as we sometimes think it is. Hopefully, things will improve. Whether they do or not, I promise I'll be around to say something about it.