It’s looking like Barnstable will be gaining a new representative to the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates.
Thomas K. Lynch, who has served on the county’s legislative body for 11 years, is as I write this on his way to becoming Barnstable’s new town manager, which means he will have to resign from the assembly since the town charter bans its town manager from holding an elected position at the same time.
At present, the only confirmed candidate for the seat is Ronald R. Beaty Jr. If there are any readers out there considering a run for the assembly, I’d encourage you to do so, first and foremost so voters will have a choice in the coming election. Choice and competition are necessary to a healthy political process.
This is especially true here, because Mr. Beaty has yet to show himself to be something more than a one-trick pony; based on the content of his blog and his press releases, his sole purpose in running is to throw up a roadblock in front of the Special Commission on County Governance.
The special commission has filed two recommendations that Mr. Beaty has actively railed against: a proposal to merge the assembly with the Barnstable County Board of County Commissioners (or, as some put it, eliminate the assembly and expand the board), and a proposal to create a regional wastewater management entity that could possess taxation powers.
Are these trivial non-issues? No, but the scope of the assembly’s duties stretches well beyond ensuring its own continued existence and wastewater. It helps craft annual operating and supplemental budgets. It reviews and approves Districts of Critical Planning Concern, changes to the county charter, and changes to the Regional Policy Plan. It creates new entities to help the county deal with pressing issues.
I know I often knock the assembly as a somewhat vestigial organ in the county government organism, and while I maintain that there may well be better ways to accomplish the functions it serves, it does have its fingers in a number of not unimportant pies — and I question whether Mr. Beaty would be an effective delegate when he’s up to his elbows in one very specific pie.
One-issue candidates generally make poor elected officials, and having to run an actual race would tell voters whether he had a vision for county government beyond his pet projects…and if not, would give voters another option.
A brief bookmark update: Peter A. White of Mashpee has updated his campaign website address to reflect the fact he is now a candidate for Congress rather than the US Senate. The URL is www.peterwhiteforcongress.org, and as an added note, it’s a much nicer-looking site than his past efforts.
Senate President Therese M. Murray (D – Plymouth), who last week held her on-Cape re-election campaign kick-off event, picked up one of her first endorsements of the season, from the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus Political Action Committee.
The PAC called Sen. Murray “a devoted advocate for women throughout the Commonwealth. From her support of education reform to expanded access to affordable, quality healthcare to her efforts on behalf of victims of domestic violence, she has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of women and their families.”
Political news and announcements may be e-mailed to Michael Bailey, senior political reporter, at email@example.com.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.