Signs of the times

I’ll tell you what:  every day of this campaign brings new lessons in life and politics. 


Two days after I started putting my lawn signs out, Hwei-Ling called me to ask if I would agree not to put them out until mid-March.  Mmmm, a little late.  She is framing the issue of signs as “visual pollution.”

Fair enough.  We all have different campaign concepts and aesthetic preferences.  But it seems to me that if the signs offend your sensibilities, you eschew them – a perfectly rational choice – not limit your use of them.  If you consider them a blight on the landscape, then why is that OK for three weeks but not for six? 

If I consider it obnoxious to campaign by having a truck with a megaphone driving around blaring “Vote for Stephanie!” then I wouldn’t do just a little of that – I’d do none.

But this isn’t really about aesthetics or appropriateness – it’s about politics.  See – I’m learning.

Life is funny.  Politics is funnier.  I’m just soaking it all in.


Clare Bertrand said:

It was very strategic of her to effectively silence the competition by getting them to agree to hold off on putting up lawn signs. Sad part is, they agreed to her strategy.
I will proudly host my O'Keeffe blue and white sign, replacing my Obama sign, which I took down after the primary but saved in hopes of putting it back up in the Fall!

Baer Tierkel said:

Of course the incumbent doesn't want her opponents signs up! Then the voters would know that there is a choice for change. The voter turnout for elections is so small, and Ms. Greeney seems to put her personal asthetic taste ahead of informing the public of the election and their choices. Such a typical insider play.

Nothing like small town, and minded, politics!

Eva Schiffer said:

Actually, the only candidate who agreed with Hwei-Ling was Irv Rhodes: Diana Stein had evidently decided independently to delay putting up her signs, to reduce vandalism and wear and tear; and Dave Keenan is not planning to put up signs at all.

Lucy Benson said:

The sooner the signs get up, the more people will be aware of the forthcoming very important election and of the choices to be made.People will start paying attention and thinking!
As far as appearances are concerned, I think the signs are a colorful and pleasant addition to the late winter terrain.

Ann McLaughlin said:

I like your signs! I agree that they brighten up the dreary gray scene right about now. Good luck to you--I hope you win!

Neil said:
If you consider them a blight on the landscape, then why is that OK for three weeks but not for six? - Stephanie O'Keeffe

Go Stephanie. Reason rules the day.

Now I'm going off to learn about what you want to accomplish as Select board member. What's works. What's broken. What you want to accomplish. If you tell me that, I'll have the information I need to make a decision.

Having that beautiful big black lab guard your sign is a nice touch. I bet you have a lot of experiecne in communications, yes?

Neil said:

Here is where our interests intersect most concretely:

I want the Select Board to set and pursue goals... I want policy discussions to be action-focused, because it is through policy and action that the Select Board must lead.

I want the Select Board to reject the popular notion of our local higher education institutions “owing the Town more,” or having a “responsibility to give the Town money.”

I also think that policy is the exclusive domain of the Select Board and that one of the problems with town government is that the Select Board has abdicated some of this responsibility to the Town Manager. The Town Manager is not elected and therefore should not be making policy.

Nonetheless, good ideas can come from many places and so policy ideas should be heard and considered from every corner, especially the town manager... although frankly some of his policy ideas run counter to Amherst traditions we value and want to maintain.

norton starr said:

If a Selectboared member is concerned about visual pollution, going after the _commercial_ signage about town should have priority over campaign slogans. The latter ordinarily come down after the event, whereas the former degrade the Town for years. Moreover, it's not just commercial notices that litter the landscape: Mercy House, the Dakin Shelter and other outfits have had signage up some of which remains months after the event.

Carol Sharick said:

I found it humorous that while Dave Keenan applauded Ms. Greeney for not wanting to "pollute" the visual landscape, he must be offending her as well by displaying two Obama signs on his property.

I love the bright blue O'Keeffe signs! We'll all have to check on them tomorrow though, after the plows head through.

Mary Carey said:

Yay! I would love to see more pictures of your dogs!

Larry Kelley said:

Yeah, and I would love to see a picture of nuns.

Richard Morse said:

I'm just not sure that Ms. Greeney reflects on anything that she says or does. That must make life a lot easier.

Come to think of it: there's a guy currently living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who's a lot like that.

Will we ever stop thinking of new things to regulate in town?

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