Sunday, November 8, 2009

Councilwoman Linda Betts

A scene in our wonderful town!

This is how local politics should work and it’s how I like it!
by Charlie Leck

Linda Betts in a town councilperson here in the community in which I live. I’ve watched her in action for a number of years now, attending a few meetings a year and watching nearly all the archived TV sessions. Sometimes a town council meeting can make great television, but most times it’s really boring stuff; but if you want to keep up with issues in your community you really ought to watch them.

For decades, I’ve been an advocate of Tip O’Neill’s well known concept that “all politics is local.” It’s right here in a local community that everything that eventually happens in Washington really begins. And, it’s here in town council sessions that matters are decided that most quickly and directly impact us. So, I like to see how those who serve on the council care for the community and the people who live in it.

Linda Betts has a proven record. She cares. She loves the community and she wants to do what’s best for the people who live in it. You can take that to the bank.

Here’s something very special about Linda Betts. She just went through an election that we all incorrectly thought was going to be very close. She was determined to get her views out to the public and to make sure people knew who she was and how much she cared about the community. So she hit the streets and knocked on doors and greeted people face to face.

“Here I am. Here’s what I’m like. Vote for me and I’ll do my best!”

One day she stopped to visit a home and had an interesting encounter. She had no idea who lived there when she knocked on the door, but it was on her route and it made sense to call even though it appeared, from all the opponent’s lawn signs in the area, to be a hopeless cause.

“Many times I have good conversations and meet delightful people – there’s always a chance they may change their minds.”

A familiar looking lady answered the door on this occasion, greeted Lynn pleasantly and invited her in. Once inside an extremely well-known fellow came around the corner and joined his wife and Lynn in the livingroom. It was the fellow we had all sort of dubbed as the arch-enemy. Even though he’s way up in his 80s, he’s a passionate guy, with fierce energy and a stern desire to remove Lynn from the council. He was the most outspoken supporter of the opposing candidates in this election. Lynn only told me that “an interesting exchange of conversation” followed.

“His wife seemed balanced.”

The most important part of my little story comes now. Following the election, when it was apparent that Lynn had achieved a “landslide victory,” she called me and thanked me for my help. There was something in her voice that I liked. Her “thank you” had a finality to it. That expression of gratitude was to say “all debts are paid off and the slate is clean.”

Lynn Betts is a strong and good woman. And, she’s her own woman. Here’s her only guaranty to those of us who worked for her in the campaign. She’ll work hard. She’ll always be pleasant and hear people out completely. She’ll study and understand an issue as best she can. Then, she’ll do what she believes in her heart is best for the community.

And sometimes that grumpy, old guy she unexpectedly encountered in his livingroom will be right on an issue and she’ll support him. Sometimes she won’t because she won’t believe him to be correct. Yet, she’ll hear him and others out completely and she’ll be considerate. That’s all a citizen could hope for and that’s why I’m glad she’s a town councilwoman here in this community.

"Yes, Lynn, all debts are paid off. The slate is clean. Do what you think is best!"

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Charlie. However, Lynn, if you're reading this, I WAS hoping for another piece of your phenomenal apple pie.
    Best Regards and Congratulations!