During my more than 40 years in politics, I have witnessed some very interesting efforts by different politicians to secure a seat in public office. However, the current controversy in Charlestown ranks among the most interesting.
It causes me to ask myself why would anyone expect the incumbent town council to appoint a candidate that ran against them in the general election to fill a vacant seat on the Town Council?
It doesn't make any difference if this particular candidate was the next-highest vote-getter or not!
Politics is not a football game where a second string player takes the place of a player who leaves the game. There is such a thing called political philosophy and ideology. In light of that, if you run against a slate of candidates in a general election it should be obvious that you did not support the same political philosophy. Therefore it would be irresponsible for the town council to chose an opposition candidate to fill a vacant seat.
Now comes the nonsense of amending the Home Rule Charter to mandate that the next-highest vote-getter fills any vacant seat on the Town Council. All the talk is about the “will of the people” or the “will of the electorate” regarding the next-highest vote-getter. Well, what about the “will of the people” who approved the Home Rule Charter. which authorizes the Town Council to fill any vacancies on the town council by a majority vote.
Anyone who believes that this is a good issue for the 2018 election is fooling themselves. It’s a non-starter!
James M. MageauCharlestown