1. She has been a leader on many important policies that have been instituted, and many which were rejected by the Republican majority. For example, she took a stand on delaying revaluation to save residential taxpayers money, and when that was rejected by the Republicans, she alone pushed for phasing in revaluation, and won, since state law fortunately allows the Town Meeting to vote on this. For years, on the Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen, she tried (but failed until the partial successes this year) to change the way the town budgets and deals with budget transfers.
2. She is incredibly energetic and, because of that, very knowledgeable about what happens in North Haven. For years she has attended hundreds of meetings of boards and commissions she hasn’t sat on, including the Board of Education. She has visited nearly every home in North Haven over the past few months, listening to what people have to say. She doesn’t wait for them to come to her. She also publishes her home phone number and e-mail address, and responds to everyone.
3. She has an open mind and knows how to listen. Because she wants to hear a range of views, she has no problem listening to people who disagree with her. I disagree with her, and that’s fine. That’s not fine with the people who currently run this town.
4. She is accountable and believes that accountability is central to democracy. For example, were she in Mr. Kopetz’s position, I have no doubt that she would have volunteered to be interviewed by the forensic investigator.
5. She believes in transparency. She wants town information available on-line, 24 hours a day, at home or at the library. She believes in upholding the letter and the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act, which is that an open government is an honest government and a government in which people can effectively participate.
6. She is ethical. She does not believe in allowing people with conflicts of interest to make town decisions. For a long time, she has been demanding major changes to our town’s Code of Ethics.
7. She is honest, for a politician. Yes, she uses spin and makes campaign promises. But she means what she says and does not falsely attack people or ignore them because they disagree with or oppose her.
8. She is a warm person. Don’t underestimate warmth. It is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. Compassion is a valuable asset for any organization. It humanizes, it dignifies. This quality is not one that comes out at public meetings, where she is trying to rally the opposition. But it comes out strongly in her everyday interactions with people.
9. She is an intelligent person. She’s not great on her feet, speaking extemporaneously, but that is only one form of intelligence. She is excellent at pulling together ideas and applying them. She is thoughtful, not the rash person the Republicans portray her as. For example, her position on the Ierardis’ pensions was reached only after talking with experts in the field, who apparently gave her different opinions than the lawyer hired by Mr. Kopetz. As in medicine, there is also a need for second opinions in law.
10. She does not have a circle of cronies she will put into power. She has advisers (I too give her advice, for what it’s worth), but they are not interested in power, they are interested in getting this town back on track, on giving power back to the people who live here. Notice that Michael Mele, Gary Amato, and I are not on the ballot, nor will we end up on the payroll. Janet McCarty will not abuse the power given to her, and she will not let others abuse it, either.
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