The last meaningful discussion to be had by the sitting village council occurred on Monday as winners from the recent election will be sworn in on May 14. Thank goodness.
The major theme to come out of the campaign season was that voters are tired of the petty squabbles and personality clashes that hamstrung this group from accomplishing much over the last four years. Unfortunately, one of the elected officials couldn’t resist one more night of kicking each other in the teeth.
The offender at Monday’s meeting was the mayor, who may have been feeling a little punchy coming off his re-election to a third term. He was patronizing, sarcastic and obvious. None of these qualities will win him the favor of incoming commissioners. For those newcomers there is a substantial interest in seeing whether they fall into lock step with Anthony Calderone or disaffect to an obstructionist’s role.
There is a third option for our newly elected leaders of course, and we’re optimistic that they’ll vote with thoughtful diligence.
Repeatedly on Monday Calderone adopted a smarmy tone of voice in addressing questions from his election rival, Commissioner Terry Steinbach. He made sarcastic comments, and took potshots on everything from reviewing meeting minutes to discussing staff recommendations. This is a less than promising post-election start to putting this sort of behavior to rest.
There’s no doubt that picking up percentage points from the mayoral primary to the general election should bolster Calderone’s confidence, but it’s up to him to lead the way if he expects the tenor of the next four years to be different from the last. His tone and his demeanor set the mood for every village council meeting, regardless of whatever superfluous comments he thinks are being launched from the flanks. With gavel in hand, it is the mayor’s job to reign in the discussion and keep the conversation on point.
Calderone and Commissioner Mark Hosty will be the senior members of the newly inducted council, though vote totals show they are not the most liked. Newcomer Rory Hoskins amassed more votes than any other commissioner candidate, and topped the mayor’s vote total by almost 200. Hosty’s fourth-place finish in a field of eight newcomers diminishes his clout as a two-term incumbent.
Hosty has assigned himself the role of mentor to the newcomers, and surely the entire council will look to the mayor for leadership. If Hosty and Calderone, who seem to get along fine, don’t want their legacy to be one of fractured government, they ought to work on their diplomacy.
On page 7 of the April 18 issue, a photo caption incorrectly stated that Mark Hosty won re-election to a second term as commissioner. Hosty was elected to a third term.
Also, a story on page 6 of the April 18 issue incorrectly stated there were four write-in candidates for the District 91 school board. There were five write-in candidates, including Kristine Lazzara, whose name was not included in the story.