We open this week with something from the Credit Where It’s Not Necessarily Due file.
Last week Eric R. Steinhilber, Republican candidate for Barnstable County Commissioner, issued a press release boasting this bold headline: Steinhilber: 1, MWRA on Cape Cod: 0 — The MWRA solution is ‘off the table.’ Steinhilber declares victory.”
What he’s referring to is the recent proclamation by county officials that a Cape-wide wastewater management agency with possible taxation authority, akin to the Metropolitan Water Resources Authority, was not under consideration as part of the county’s wastewater management game plan.
In the press release, Mr. Steinhilber claims that he first “took action” in February when the commissioners formed a working group to examine the wastewater authority proposal. He does not specify this action, which predated his official declaration of candidacy by about a month.
“After months of hard work and advocacy,” he said in the release, “the County Commissioners have heard the calls and have abandoned any plans to support an MWRA-type taxing authority.”
I contacted some of the county officials who reviewed this proposal — Commissioners Sheila R. Lyons and William Doherty, and Cape Cod Water Protection Collaborative director Andy Gottlieb — and they portrayed the public push-back against the “MWRA on Cape Cod” concept as limited to a small handful of “usual suspects” rather than a large, broad-based outcry. If anything, they said, most of the opposition they heard came from town selectmen worried more about loss of local control than the taxation issue.
(In the interest of putting the preemptive kibosh on accusations I led the witnesses, so to speak, I asked them about this without ever mentioning Mr. Steinhilber by name; they were simply asked how much negative public feedback they received.)
While Mr. Steinhilber did make the wastewater authority proposal a key issue of his campaign, and his website features a prominent “No MWRA for Cape Cod” section, trying to portray himself as the man who slew this particular dragon is disingenuous. It’s a lame effort to turn the lemon of losing a key platform issue into political lemonade.
Perhaps he did indeed speak with voters about it in his travels, but there is nothing to support the claim that he somehow sparked a significant grassroots anti-wastewater authority movement.
James M. Cummings, Barnstable County sheriff, this week endorsed Adam G. Chaprales for US Representative of the Ninth Congressional District. The sheriff issued his endorsement during a brief press event Tuesday, calling Mr. Chaprales “the best candidate to serve as our next Congressman.”
Mr. Chaprales is facing fellow Republican Christopher Sheldon of Plymouth in the primary.
US Senator Scott P. Brown (R) will be back in Falmouth tomorrow, August 18 for a fundraiser house party. If you’d like to get in on this event, shoot an e-mail to organizer Larry McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org for details and to RSVP.
Political news and announcements may be e-mailed to Michael Bailey, senior political reporter, at email@example.com.
Tags: Adam Chaprales, Andrew Gottlieb, Barnstable County commissioners, Cape Cod Wastewater Authority, Cape Cod Water Protection Collaborative, Christopher Sheldon, Eric Steinhilber, Ninth Congressional District, Scott Brown, Sheila Lyons, William Doherty
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.