Voters decide Tuesday
Tuesday, Democrats and Republicans will go to the polls to determine which candidates will be the standard-bearers in November’s mayoral election. Democrats will choose from a field of three candidates – incumbent Mayor Nancy Rossi, former Mayor Edward O’Brien, and current City Clerk Deborah Collins. Republicans will have the option of choosing endorsed candidate Michelle Gregorio or challenger Steven Mullins.
To say this iteration of the primary process has been inconsequential is to clearly understate it. Except for some initial comments concerning one issue or another, there has not been what one could describe as “energy” in any of the campaigns.
To be sure there is in-fighting, but beyond that, not much else. Democrats have made a spectator sport out of their tripartite squabbling for more than 20 years. Indeed, in the public portion of the City Council meeting last week, there were charges and counter-charges, angst and acrimony. That is to be expected in the city’s majority party. What we haven’t seen is solid proposals to make the city better from the challengers, just criticism, and some of the personal kind. Meanwhile, the incumbent has offered boilerplate rebuttals to that criticism.
The GOP, meanwhile, is going through its own brand of infighting. The vote that gave Gregorio the nomination was a close one, 24-20. Since then there are reports of anger and threats within the ranks of the party, a Sturm und Drang not seen in the Republican ranks for many a year.
That stated, the fact remains not much has been proposed in a cogent platform that would make the city better under a Republican administration – except “it’s time for a change.” That might appeal to some, but not many.
What we have in both parties, then, is a popularity contest. Candidates must get out their voters, but we haven’t seen anything that would prompt any but the base of any one of the candidates to trek to the polls. That is not only disappointing, it’s problematic.
In the last decade, Democratic primaries have been decided by and handful of votes. The party’s nominees have been from one or the other factions and got the nod through just squeaking by enough extra votes. This time seems no different – except there are three candidates, and the margin of victory could be in the single digits.
That means the winner will have no mandate, and work at a complete disadvantage in the majority party, with the supporters of the other two not lending their support.
The GOP, too, can see this happen, not only by sheer dearth of numbers – the party has only about 3,400 registered – but by a general lack of any dynamism in the campaign.
Next Tuesday will determine who will be the nominees going forward to November, but if anyone is looking for reasons to vote for one or the other candidate, this campaign hasn’t provided them. That is very disappointing.
Voice office moving
The West Haven Voice, which has been at 666 Savin Ave., for its entire existence, is moving. The move is the result of circumstances both within and without the newspaper’s management that have resulted in our finding new headquarters. The new address will be 844 Boston Post Road.
The move ends an era. The Savin Avenue address has had a newspaper within its confines for all but two years since 1970. The West Haven City News, West Haven News, West Haven Towne Voice, and, finally, this publication have all had offices in this building. The only hiatus was the closing of the West Haven News by owners in 1995. The Voice began operations in 1997.
The move has a target completion date of Sept. 13. Over the next few weeks we will be gradually shifting operations at the new site.