I definitely agree in moving forward, but not if the call to do so is calculated to deflect needed focus on an important weaknesses; not until first recognizing exactly what that letter of ‘apology’ truly said, as well as supporting letters in the October 23rd Villager:
1) Mr. Rosendahl seemed to begrudgingly apologize mainly because he had to. His letter seemed to respond somehow to the fact that “This incident was mentioned in the recent Woodstock Villager article…” This may NOT be his reason (who knows?), but it’s telling that he remained silent for so long (and in the face of numerous voices publicly questioning his behavior) and only addresses the ‘incident’ after it’s mentioned in The Villager.
While we do hope he’s sincere, the deflective tactic of ‘reconciliation-while-apologizing’ is common and politically tried-and-true and it’s effective. It buries low road wrong-doing in high road rhetoric and diffuses further criticism preemptively.
2) Mr. Richardson’s entire ‘platform’ seems to be that: A) he’s seen some big Financial Statements before; and B) that the town spent a lot of money last-minute in a tactic to burn all budget money so it would be refreshed 100% the next year. Is that it? – that this very common budget ‘tactic’, which is used by most every budget-dependent organization, charity, camp and municipality out there, is ALSO used by Woodstock? Again – this is COMMON BUDGET PRACTICE. Is this his basis of attack – that they should have been more organized, less last-minute? Importantly, he failed to name ANY of the “errors and issues with accounting practices” he claims repeatedly to have “uncovered” – and this was truly his best opportunity and forum to do so; it would have been quite strong, were it true. I believe he would have cited an entire list of “errors and issues” if he had uncovered them. There was no such list.
Again, this is a tried-and-true means of deflecting any relative candidate weakness and lack of REAL ammunition; lack of valid criticism and, most especially, deflecting point-blank his reputation as “anti-education”.
In support, as usual, Mr. Powers and Ms. Rapose string together vague, slogan-like platitudes and cliches about “hoping to elect people like us…”, “tax and spend” behavior and “tip of the iceberg”, while – like Mr. Richardson – pointing out that the current Board spent a lot of money last-minute in a tactic to burn all budget money so it would be refreshed 100% (like so many other budget-dependent organizations do).
Ms. Rapose also seemed defensive about, and tried to deflect, the notion of “bare-bones, maintenance budgets”. Unfortunately, Mr. Powers was specific only when repeating tired, old and inaccurate accusations – the rest of his hostile note seemed extremely patronizing and haughty – as though us dumb citizens needed someone smarter to explain all of these biased claims and details.