Sunday, November 1, 2009

Walking Away

Sunrise pushes away the darkness but not my gloom!

by Charlie Leck

Well, I stepped away from the election here in my town. I’ve given up the computer files, the master list of supporters and the title of campaign manager – the tools and titles of pain and horror. I really had no choice! I was too emotionally involved and it just ate at my insides.

I haven’t slept well for the last month. Too much sitting. Too much keyboarding. Too little exercise. Too much worry. My legs are killing me. I went to see a doctor Friday. He prescribed something to relax my muscles. Local politics is crazy – the craziest of all!

I did all I can do and the last little, tidying up tasks I’ve turned over to someone else so I can rest and think about the future. I won’t ever get involved again. I’ve too many years on me and the task is too much for me now.

So I can do no more now than wait for the results of our little town’s election. As it looks right now, we couldn’t do quite enough and, unless there are big surprises, we’ll finish just behind the two winning vote getters, a dozen or so votes short. It doesn’t hurt any more than losing by a single vote, however.

Could I be wrong? Yes, but probably not. I learned how to count votes out here nearly 20 years ago. It isn’t so difficult in a town where only 1350 voters show up to vote in a city election. That’s 53 percent. A town can’t take much pride in that! Our goal this year was to raise that turnout number. If there is a significant hike in the turnout, then there is some hope.

Half of 1350 is 675…
The leading opponent vote getter seems always to get 676 votes…
Ergo, no way to win without increasing voter turnout…
Perhaps the incumbent across town, who we supported, will win her seat back. That will make the count a bit easier to swallow.

Did I fail? I guess so. Couldn’t motivate people the way I could a few years ago. Too many bosses and decision makers and not enough workers. Can’t really run these things by committee, but it’s difficult to avoid that in a small town. In the end, in these last few days, I knew some kind of spark was needed. Sparks often come with anger. We’ll see!

If we do lose I’ll just admit that the people spoke. They may have been foolish and not understood what they were saying, but they spoke.

I will regret our failure mostly for the Mayor. It will be difficult for him to deal with three or four councilmen who want to bring major change to our wonderful town.

With the job given up, I thought I’d sleep better last night, but I didn’t. It was another night of tossing and turning, rising and pacing the floor. I’m trying to read Russo’s new novel. As I do, my mind travels away to other places and the words won’t stick. I’ll set it aside because that’s no way to treat my favorite contemporary novelist.

A streak of light appears now in the Eastern sky and daylight with soon push away the night. Only this and another day before the voting begins.

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