This season, most of the voting will be for local officials. It's not glamorous, but it is democracy at its best and most tangible. Please vote. My family goes back a long way with Democrats: my grandfather voted for F.D.R., my mom for J.F.K. and I voted for Al Gore. This Tuesday, I will vote for a Democrat for town supervisor, Wes Kennison, but he won't be on the Democratic ticket. He and his excellent running mates are on the Common Sense line. You know Kennison as a Humanities professor. He is also the incumbent town supervisor.
As supervisor, Kennison cares for the town of Geneseo, which includes the village and its rural outskirts. You usually don't hear much about the town government on campus because its operations just hum along. Conesus Lake (your water supply) is under good management; folks get sewers, water and cable, new businesses open, the roads are plowed, etc. There's not much news from the town and that's good news.
In the run-up to election, we're hearing a lot about whether or not Geneseo should acquire a Lowe's across the road from Wal-Mart. The Democratic ticket is anti-Lowe's. I don't care for big-box stores either. But big-box damage is a done deal: some of the towns around us don't even have grocery stores. We and our neighbors rely on big-boxes in Geneseo (like Wegmans) for food. And we and our neighbors must go to Rochester for other household needs. So why make getting the basics harder on folks for whom things are hard enough? We all (particularly students) need the full and part-time jobs that Lowe's would open up.
As for Geneseo's Main Street merchants, think about this: When I go to Lowe's in Rochester, I also go to Lands' End for clothes, Borders for books, and… well, you get it. If folks can shop for the basics in Geneseo, then maybe they will stay and shop for the extras here on Main Street, and save some gas too.
Professor of Mathematics