Speaking of confrontations, how about the mayor calling out three alderpersons for alleged lameness in the line of duty? On one level, I wonder what good Gallo thinks the out-calling will do, especially as budget season nears and the possibility of maybe, just maybe, having to compromise approaches. On another level, I wonder if this is what it’s gonna be like for the next four years, the kind of stuff which journalists label “sparks” and “fireworks.” (“Mayor says council wrong! Council says mayor wrong!”) It’s fun, sure, like watching “Tosh.0” or bum fights on YouTube, but make no mistake — it doesn’t go toward solving Kingston’s actual serious problems, but does go toward eroding what people think of their city. (“Look at what a crappy city we live in! Everybody’s fighting all the time!”) Think of it as the journalistic equivalent of junk food. Look, conflict is not always avoidable and often it’s a good thing, as people do very often need to and benefit from being held accountable for their actions or inactions. But watching how the last mayor was so prone to venting in the press got to be a positively negatively sadly predictably cringeworthy experience after a while. We shall see.
WE LIKE MIKE — By the time you read this, a number of old-school hometown Democrats, including the aforementioned sheriff, mayor and ex-mayor, as well as Lew Kirschner, Jeanette Provenzano, John Parete, Jeremy Wilber and Chris Gibson’s new BFF, Bruce Tuchman, will have gathered on the steps of the County Courthouse to endorse local legal legend Mike Kavanagh for state Supreme Court justice. Generally, people in these races get cross-endorsed (which brings up the question of why we bother to elect judges anyway) but that did not happen this year, so the former Ulster DA and county judge will be up against Dems from Columbia and Greene counties. My take on it is that locality in this case trumps party loyalty, especially for someone like Kavanagh, whose respect is, near as I can tell, universal in Ulster. (WEB UPDATE: Since I wrote this before it actually happened, I did not know that Jim Sottile would not in fact be there or that Al Spada was in fact there.)
OK, that’s enough for now. Hugh’ll be back in his usual spot before you know it, thankfully, and I will return to my usual MO of providing irregular ex cathedra elaborately reasoned essays on any number of topics. Damn, I wish I could drive the race car some more!
(The writer is editor of the Kingston Times.)