Published Date Written by Jim Lewis
Elections are exciting times, indeed. Cyclical, you could argue, as it seems that voters change their mind about the direction in which they want their town, their township, their county, their state, their federal government to go every four years or so.
In Middletown, a grassroots move to change the way the borough spends money and raises revenue brought a new majority to Borough Council. Six years later, a grassroots move – via Facebook and other social media – has brought yet another change, another new majority.
In November’s general election, some of the people who won council seats are familiar faces, just as it was in 2009. Most are new.
Former long-time mayor Robert Reid appears to have won a seat on council via a write-in campaign, based on unofficial returns reported by Dauphin County. Former council president Diana McGlone also won, clinching a seat on council in May’s primary election. Three other apparent winners – Dawn Bixler Knull, Damon Suglia and Greg Wilsbach, the borough’s former electric department supervisor – are new to elected office.
First certification of the write-in results will be presented to the Dauphin County Board of Elections on Thursday, Nov. 12, according to Gerald Feaser, director of the county’s bureau of Voter Registration and Elections. This starts the clock on a week-long period for anyone to challenge the write-in results. The results become official with final certification on Thursday, Nov. 19. At that point, the county sends letters out to all the write-in winners.
The winners must also file any required legal paperwork, such as a campaign expense form, to assume their respective offices in 2016, Feaser added. Assuming the unofficial results stand, the new majority that will take control on council has a long to-do list of projects and initiatives started by the current council.
We hope, as we do after every election, that a new majority will lawfully and transparently perform the public’s business. In the past, we’ve insisted that council’s working committees advertise meeting dates and let the public know when they will meet, a practice we will count on to continue. It is crucial that council not only vote on the public’s business in public, but deliberate it in public as well.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the next four years. Congratulations to all the election winners. Each election rekindles excitement, hope and an admiration for our democratic process. Let’s move forward.