Mary Ann Sumner has accomplished a lot in her last two years, despite being in a 4-1 minority and then a 3-2 minority on the board, and is ready to take the lead as Town Supervisor.
Mary Ann Sumner
Mary Ann brings the financial skills that a town supervisor needs to manage a budget. She's already digested a largely incomprehensible budget document into clear explanations of where Dryden spends money and where the money comes from. It was interesting to see people's shock at the first candidates' forum when they learned that a third of the Town's core budget comes from sales tax, and that the Town has around $5 million in fund balances. This basic information simply hadn't been shared in the past.
I've also been pleased to see Mary Ann's work on other issues. She first noticed the HUD revolving loan money that the town was collecting without putting it back into the community. She responded to resident concerns that a zoning interpretation which had helped keep Cornell's windmills off Mount Pleasant was now prohibiting anyone in the town from putting up residential-scale windmills, and the law she developed was passed by a majority Republican board by a 5-0 vote.
This year, she's worked with David Makar on the emergency services committee, connecting with fire chiefs and fire company boards to smooth out the many issues remaining between the companies and the board. They've been able to take $25,000 that had been allocated for an emergency services coordinator and save it for other fire needs. She's also played an active role on the board, especially where finances and budget are concerned.
I should add that she's shown remarkable patience in the face of bizarre efforts to smear her patriotism. Questioners at forums have thrown bizarre accusations at her, trying to impugn her values and make claims that she's a dangerous radical. Some of the questions I've heard from Republicans wondering privately are so far out that it's hard to imagine what paranoid mind is telling false tales.
For those who need reassurance, Mary Ann is definitely not a radical, though she is certainly a Democrat. In 2004, she was a solid supporter of General Wesley Clark for President, hardly a leftist choice. She consistently emphasizes financial reponsibility, transparency, and her deep belief that the Town should avoid financial risks. She has worked well with Republicans for the last two years, helping the Board get things done.
It's deeply unfortunate that the campaign has taken such a personal and frequently false turn, but Mary Ann has kept her head up, and deserves to be elected on the basis of what she can do and will do for Dryden.Posted by simon at November 5, 2007 9:14 AM in politics (local)