Break up the village board!

That’s a compliment, like “break up the Yankees!”

I’m exaggerating a bit, but I did notice at last night’s New Paltz village board meeting that the mayor and four trustees have become a team capable of serious rational deliberation over the matters before them. That’s quite unlike the previous board, which had become a rumpus room for the previous mayor.

The board is still a government and as such a danger of course to everyone within reach of its authority, but this group seems respectful enough of the people within its jurisdiction.

But I do see a need to “break up” the village board:

Michael Zierler should run for the town supervisor’s job. If the local Democrats won’t nominate him and renominate the incumbent Toni Hokanson, Zierler should run as a third-party candidate (but not via the Green Party) and seek the endorsement of the Republicans. It’s not that I share Zierler’s politics. Obviously I don’t. But I think that he would bring an open-minded and deliberate manner to town government, which I believe is currently mired in some sort of hypnotic if not moribund state that admits neither air nor light.

With the fall election but three months away, now would be the time for Zierler to make a move. He’s not a congenital bureaucrat like Toni Hokanson, which is another reason he would make a better supervisor. Between Hokanson’s bureaucratic ways and her passive aggression, I think that voters have seen enough to be ready to make a change. An early signal of that came when they refused to extend the supervisor’s term to four years when it was on the ballot last November.

I do not think that Hokanson is an improvement over the previous supervisor, who was run out of office by local Democratic Party insiders, but I do think that she has a tighter crew of cronies. So Zierler would have to be prepared for an uphill battle. He has the advantage of having just been through an uphill battle as part of Terry Dungan’s winning campaign against Jason West. That campaign organization could be retooled rather quickly and effectively. It knows how to win. And Zierler would be a good candidate and would be a much better supervisor for New Paltz.

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