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Column: Mayor Gerry Messmer
“Let's move on from party-line voting”
The following is the 11th in a series of columns about life in Odessa written by Mayor Gerry Messmer.
ODESSA, Oct. 6, 2021 -- Election Day is coming!
This November we will all go to the polls for yet another election. Since becoming the Mayor of Odessa, I have come to realize how unimportant political party is at the local level. By local level I mean Schuyler County Legislature, Town Supervisors and Boards, and Village Mayors and Boards.
Why is political party unimportant? I think it is unimportant because at our level we are where the rubber meets the road. We are where the money is invested, where our tax dollars are spent or wasted. As Mayor my job is to represent the residents of Odessa, not “rule” them.
You elected me to be a good steward of your tax dollars, to work proactively to improve your village and your quality of life and to be a fair and professional supervisor to our employees, who work their tails off. It should not matter to any elected official what the people he or she represents are, whether Republican or Democrat, what their sexual orientation might be, or their religion, etc. We are expected to take care of everyone, no exceptions. I take that responsibility seriously, regardless of my party affiliation.
As a newcomer to Schuyler County (originally from Seneca County) I see things from a very different perspective. Having moved around the country in the Army, I have seen many different villages, towns, and counties and how they function or are dysfunctional.
I have my opinion on Schuyler County’s functionality, and you must determine yours through research and not party-line politics. Look around at our county, compare it with similar counties. Are we really growing? Are businesses moving in? Are developers building new homes? Are small businesses thriving? Are we seeing a population growth, stagnancy, or loss? Is your quality of life improving?
If you are not happy with what you see, then you need to make a choice. Do I continue to vote party line and not see Schuyler grow, or do I give a new candidate a chance? Maybe it is time for a change? We all complain about term limits in Congress, but what about local politicians? Maybe it is time to rotate some of them out, adopting term limits, and bring in fresh ideas, fresh minds, fresh outlooks. Perhaps we should think about the person who will represent us all, period, and not based on party politics.
A National Liberty Alliance article titled Founding Fathers & Political Parties: George Washington’s Farewell Address in 1796 warned us that “through the course of time cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men" would subvert the power of the people and seize for themselves the reins of government (the elected Committees) through private Associations.
Washington went on to tell us that once they seized the reins of power, a/k/a, the committeemen, the parties that would arise would:
(1) destroy the very engines (the political process) which have lifted them to unjust dominion;
(2) destroy the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities;
(3) open the door to foreign influence and corruption. Thus the policy and the will of one country will be subjected to the policy and will of another;
(4) serve to organize division;
(5) ruin public liberty;
(6) stifle, control and repress;
(7) foment occasional riots and insurrection;
(8) kindle animosity of one part against another;
(9) put in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of the party elite;
(10) agitate the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms;
(11) undermine the Constitution, which could not be directly overthrown;
(12) distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration;
(13) drive the spirit of revenge; all of which would:
(14) lead to despotism. Washington concluded: “... parties are truly your worst enemy.”
So, stop thinking about voting “party line” and start thinking about who is best to represent us and help our community grow. Think about President Washington’s words of wisdom and cast a vote that counts, a vote for your rights, a vote for freedom that will not ruin public liberty.
Why do we put up with local officials who don’t do the right thing? It’s time for a grass roots effort in each Town and Village to get rid of the old stale elected officials and put people in place who will REPRESENT ALL OF US.
Photo in text: Odessa Mayor Gerry Messmer.
To see Mayor Messmer's first column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's second column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's third column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's fourth column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's fifth column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's sixth column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's seventh column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's eighth column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's ninth column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's tenth column, click here.