I recently saw Schodack Republicans' campaign literature and a story in The Advertiser about the two incumbent town board members up for re-election this year.
I thought it was strange that the GOP "borrowed" the Schodack Democrats' longtime webpage motto: "Democrats: the people who give you good government." Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I suppose. But it is more likely that they are out of campaign slogans just as they are out of ideas on how to improve the lives of Schodack residents.
I was also struck by the fact that the candidate statements were almost identical. Clearly, the candidates are not speaking for themselves, but are merely parroting what their political cronies tell them to say.
The incumbents are running on their alleged record of "lower taxes," "protecting our quality of life," and "strong services." It is hard to pick which of those claims is the most preposterous.
Schodack's taxes rank in the top 20 for highest taxes in the eight-county Capital District and we have precious little to show for them. Do the incumbents think that just saying these things will make people believe them? Do they think Schodack residents were born yesterday?
How can they claim to be the "good government team" when they routinely meet and take action on various projects in secret, which is a violation of the state Open Meetings Law?
In what country is making secret deals with connected developers -- like the current Project Red scandal -- anything like the "good government" we are supposed to have in America?
How is secretly negotiating not one but two massive warehouse projects next to a residential neighborhood in an area not zoned for warehouses "protecting our quality of life"?
How can they say they have provided "strong services" when a look around at nearby towns finds more and better services -- water and sewer, libraries, beaches, pools, parks, etc. -- at a much lower tax rate? They seem to think that hiring more patronage employees at town hall equals "strong services," when that has never been true.
Finally, the incumbents' alleged "accomplishments" were either mandated by state law -- like keeping annual property tax hikes below 2 percent -- or were things that happened more than five years ago. So they essentially admit that they have accomplished nothing in the four years since they were elected.
It is time to move Schodack forward by electing people who will represent them, not political bosses, campaign donors, and connected developers. The incumbents' approach of high taxes and mediocre services has been a failure for everyone except the relatively few who have profited from it.
It is time to end one-party, good-old-boy misrule in Schodack and vote for open, honest, responsive, and efficient government.
On Nov. 3, Vote for Linda Underwood and Tracey Rex for Schodack Town Board on Row A.