Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Empress has no clothes.

Amherst voters shouted a loud and clear message to the current ruling regime: Wake up and smell the herbal tea. The times they are a changing. We’re mad as Hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.

The astounding defeat (to quote him) of incumbent Robie Hubley by a two-to-one margin to Alisa Brewer clearly demonstrates a chink in the armor of Select board Czar Anne Awad. If she were on the ballot instead of her husband, she too would now be standing in the Selectman unemployment line (or maybe Mr. Weiss).

Mr. Hubley also acknowledges his antiquated but quaint style of campaigning was no match for the power of electronic media—web sites, list serves, and Blogs. Although Mr. Hubley’s campaign did raise the hackles of some by posting campaign briefs on the Town Meeting yahoo list serve.

Even amiable, school champion incumbent Gerry Weiss came in second to Brewer, thus defying conventional wisdom that he was everybody’s second vote. Yes, the common sense concept of bullet voting (not using your second vote) may now be mainstream.

It’s certainly no coincidence that the two candidates—Alisa Brewer and Andy Churchill for School Committee—endorsed by came in first and second overall and within .001% of each other.

And while overall turnout at 21% was a tad better than the usual 15% it is still pathetic when compared to Presidential election turnouts averaging almost 80%.

I won a three-year term in Town Meeting (I too was endorse by and I’m still waiting to hear from the Town Clerk if my last minute write in campaign for Amherst Redevelopment Authority was successful.

Native son Barry Roberts—sometimes described as an “evil developer”—garnered over 300 votes in his initial debut Town Meeting victory run…a very good sign!

And for those of you who were as confused as I about the Gazette front-page headline “Brewer unhorses Hubley in Amherst”, it was a Middle Ages reference to jousting. Not that I could picture either of the candidates in such a physical arena.

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