Editorial: Don’t ignore the other side

Last Tuesday’s elections in Bethlehem, Guilderland and Colonie yielded similar results, as Democrats won the supervisor’s seat in all three towns and received the lion’s share of votes for their respective town boards.

We applaud all of the voters who took the time to head to the polls and become engaged in their town government, and we’d like to believe that, whether they backed the prevailing candidate or not, their voices will be heard.

Throughout the campaign season, Republicans in all of the communities we cover took a stand against “one-party rule.” We don’t believe that a single party in power is, in and of itself, a bad thing. At the end of the day, it’s the voters who have spoken, and if they don’t like it, they can speak again when it’s time to vote next year. We only hope that, come January, those in power keep in mind the ideas and questions brought forward by their opponents during the campaigns. After all, those ideas did resonate with fair number of voters in all of our coverage areas.

For example, there were a number of ideas tossed around during the Bethlehem candidate’s forum on Oct. 22 regarding the Vista Technology Campus off Route 85. Supervisor John Clarkson has indicated he intends to continue pursuing high-tech tenants for the space, and some of his opponent Fred DiMaggio’s solutions about aggressively reaching out to those companies could prove useful in that goal.

While his attacks on what he called a lack transparency and fiscal responsibility in Supervisor Paula Mahan’s administration did not resonate with most voters, Colonie Republican supervisor candidate and small business owner Todd Drake’s background did make him qualified to speak about encouraging economic development in town.

And finally, although Guilderland supervisor candidate Mark Grimm never had the opportunity to engage incumbent Ken Runion in a debate, some of Grimm’s ideas – as seen on his campaign’s website – have merit. Those include raising the town’s online profile with a more interactive Facebook page and an opt-in alert system to keep citizens informed in times of crisis.

We know that in every election, there are winners and there are losers, but even in the wake of the overwhelming results in all three towns, there are some ideas from the other party worth taking note of.

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