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Thoughts While Strolling (11)

March 24, 2008


Post-Election Dreams. A post-election stroll around Croton revealed a few forlorn lawn signs being whipped by stiff March winds. Even more forlorn were losing candidates’ post-election comments. A pragmatic candidate accepts the will of the people and resolves to live with their decision, especially when drubbed resoundingly. An unrealistic candidate invariably blames the voters and vows to run again.

There were no pragmatic Republican candidates after Tuesday night’s election results came in and a North County News Reporter interviewed the losers. Mind you, the Democrats won 63 percent of the 3,533 total votes cast and the Republicans could only muster a measly 37 percent.

An unrealistic Joe Streany blamed voters, predicting that they will regret their decision. “It’s the village’s loss,” he added. “The residents wanted the same thing and that’s what they got.” What they got was a continuation of the powerless Democratic minority on the Village Board.

He added a prophecy that surely had Republican leaders rolling their eyes. “I’ll be back. When you believe in something, you don’t give up.” The phrase, “I’ll be back.” was a great line for Arnold Schwarzenegger as the indomitable “Terminator”—but Joe Streany’s no Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not by a long shot.

Despite her loss, an equally unrealistic Joan Minett said she also has plans to run for office again. A frequent long-winded speaker at Village Board meetings who sees nothing wrong in berating and insulting trustees, she insisted that she would continue to speak out. And dig her political grave deeper, we might add. “No matter what, I will be heard,” she predicted.

We doubt that the Streany-Minett pairing is the strongest ticket the Republicans can put together for the next election. No political realist would bet that Republican leadership would want to make another effort two years from now with the same damaged goods. Croton Republicans have done some strange things—but repeatedly hitting themselves in the head with a hammer isn’t one of them. Then again, maybe they’re interested in committing political suicide.

Dyed-in-the-wool Republican and former trustee Bill Ryder told the North County News reporter the cock-and-bull story that Republicans had held a majority until 1975 and lost it then because Democrats moved north from New York City and brought their political affiliations with them.

It’s a phony theory, however, that doesn’t stand scrutiny. Between 1960 and 1980 the total population of Croton increased by only 77 people, hardly enough to make a difference in voting patterns. Croton’s population in the 1960 census was 6,812 and it was 6,889 20 years later in the 1980 census. If you don’t believe us, look it up yourself, Bill—and get another theory and a better excuse.

Warmer and Wetter? Lately our strolls have been with a weather eye on the horizon for impending rainstorms. Curious about recent weather patterns, we checked the statistics. If you’ve had the impression that the season just past was warmer and wetter, you’re right. Weather statistics for the Metropolitan Region bear out that impression.

The normal number of heating degree-days to date should be 4,177. (A degree-day is an index of fuel consumption that tracks how far the day’s outdoor mean temperature fell below 65 degrees during a season that runs from July 1 to June 30.) So far this heating season, the total number of degree-days has been 3,827, making it 8.3 percent warmer than usual. With the price of a gallon of heating oil unconscionably high, 8.3 percent less oil burned can be a blessing for a financially strapped family.

Normal precipitation for the last 365 days should be 49.66 inches. Actual precipitation for this period has been 63.44 inches, making the last 365 days 28 percent wetter than usual.

Look for trees, shrubs and grasses to burst out greener than usual and to be plagued with more pests that have survived the milder, less-harsh winter.


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