Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Do-Nothing Mayor?

In several recent editorials, the Times-Journal has taken Cobleskill Mayor Mike Sellers to the woodshed for his performance. After missing a Village board meeting due to a family crisis, The T-J demanded that Sellers “get a grip”. A week later, another editorial admonished voters not to expand terms from 2 to 4 years, because if a “do-nothing candidate” like Mayor Sellers settles in voters will have to wait twice as long to get rid of him.

Aside from the fact that these represent scurrilous ad hominem attacks that fall below the standards of professional journalism, they completely distort and misrepresent reality. First of all, the Sellers’ administration is not without accomplishments. Here are a few:

-Sellers refused to support extending Village water and sewer service to fuel sprawl outside the Village
-He and Sandy MacKay applied for and received a grant to study sharing services with the Town responsibly
-He reversed the skateboard ban
-He has helped increase the vitality of Downtown by creating a new crafts market and supporting other events

So far, that’s not so bad. I think it’s far easier to make up a simplistic narrative and stick with it than actually representing the situation fairly and accurately. The Times-Journal is just practicing bad journalism. Sellers has two more years to go before he finishes his first term, if he builds on his accomplishments and goes a few steps further, I think he could be responsible for turning around Downtown Cobleskill.
In the next two years, Sellers should get to work on making Downtown fa├žade and streetscape improvements happen. He should also be taking a proactive role in getting the county to take control over the Guilford Mills plant from its current delinquent owner. One easy issue is bringing the Village Hall back downtown. This should have been done two years ago. Of course, negotiating with the Town to possibly create a combined town/village office building downtown would be a far better option. What about that long overdue skate-park?

Sellers has his work cut out for him. But if he accomplishes these things, Gilmore will have a very tough time getting elected Mayor again in 2009, if not, it’s going to be Gilmore part 2. Then you’ll wish we had a do-nothing mayor!


Anonymous said...

Mr. Sellers did a great job of face-to-face during his election campaign. He would do well to resume that availability to the public. Taxpayers want to give him their opinions and that's part of the job.

Anonymous said...

What the public seems to forget, that Mr. Sellers is the Mayor, but he has 4 very uncooperative Board Members that do not support him or each other. I think if he had a supportive board, he would have a better term. Also, Sellers isn't the one responsible for the villages problem.

Anonymous said...

we need a mayor who is not a KID.He is only a puppet. Hes is realy good at cutting ribbons and shaking hands....thats it!