Friday, October 7, 2011
The Tantamount NO
A few hours before Yom Kippur, and I have to post a most un-atoning post. I now live in the Town of Ulysses, were the town board unanimously approved a ban on hydrofracking. In my former town of Caroline, obstructionist council members just shot down a similar resolution.
The short article in the Ithaca Journal failed to capture the nuance of the meeting, which was open to the public. Don Barber and Dominic Frongilio both spoke and voted for the ban. Not surprisingly, given their past utterances, Linda Adams and Toby McDonald voted nay. Linda Adams is a representative of a land owner's coalition which attempts to get advantageous gas lease terms from gas companies. Toby McDonald has property that he has leased. Their greed and avarice tie them to big oil and gas. We know what color is their stripe of greed. Both Barber and Frongilio have not leased their land and are staunch conservationists.
But the real award of awkward non-committal goes to Pete Hoyt. He too has a gas lease on his property, and in the past has stated he does not see a conflict of interest in voting against fracking motions and his personal situation.
And in this particular vote he has found a brilliant way out! He abstained from the vote. He does not want to weigh in on an issue where their is the appearance of conflict. Problem is, with two yes, and two no votes, and abstention is tantamount to a no. The resolution was shot down, and Hoyt got to maintain the illusion that he may win his re-election campaign when the year ends (he won in 2008 by two votes). Does he think he had fooled anyone with this sleight of hand? Better to come out with his misguided views and then cast them into a vote than insult the citizens of Caroline with his trickery.
My only true regret in moving away from Caroline is that I can't vote against Pete Hoyt at the end of the year. I voted against him once, and it felt particularly satisfying, but now, seeing how he struts about and makes utterances that are transparently insincere, a second vote against him would have been all the more pleasurable. I hope the three people who stayed home election night and put him in office vote this year put on their galoshes and go the the polls. Alternately, I hope it doesn't rain that night.
Because Peter Hoyt needs to go home.