A recent article in the Argus entitled “Florsheim ’14 Enters Crowded Middletown Mayoral Race” seemed more like a tribute to Ben Florsheim than a serious appraisal of the mayoral field. I wanted to give a different perspective for those students interested in voting in the primary on September 10th.
I am a Wesleyan graduate (class of 1985), a Democrat, and long-time resident of Middletown. I do not think that Ben is the best candidate. It’s obvious that he is a bright person. However, I think he lacks the experience and perspective needed for the job. It’s not enough to simply call yourself a progressive. Anyone can do that. What town committees has he served on? What experience does he have with town finances and with budgets? (Keep in mind that the town budget is $166 million.) What town ordinances has he gotten passed – on the environment, on education, etc.?
I strongly support Mary Bartolotta for Mayor because in her eight years on the town council and on numerous other town committees, she has stood out to me for her work ethic, her willingness to listen, her decency, and her commitment to environmental causes and to education. She has sponsored or helped usher through ordinances on banning pesticide use on town playing fields, banning plastic bags, and limiting the use of artificial turf. She successfully opposed cutting teachers jobs during the budget process and is now the head of the building committee overseeing the construction of the new middle school. And the list goes on and on.
If you intend to vote, I urge you to go to the Middletown Eye or the Patch to see what other long-time residents of Middletown have to say. You will see how respected Mary is.
Justin Kopit is a member of the class of 1985.