They Asked. I Answered

In late-October, the Tompkins County Democratic Committee asked incumbent candidates for public office three key questions about both their accomplishments during their past term or terms of office and how they intend to further those goals in the years ahead, if reelected.  Here are the questions and the replies I offered as your Enfield Councilperson:

Question 1:  What have they accomplished in recent years that has had the most visible impact in your town or ward?

Enfield Councilperson Robert Lynch Answer:  During these past four years as Enfield Councilperson, I’ve joined my colleagues in making important decisions that impact our Town.  Most conspicuously, we’ve built a new salt barn to preserve our Highway Department materials and protect our environment.  We’ve elevated the Town Clerk to a respectable salary and also provided our other employees meaningful raises.  At times, I’ve found the need to stand apart from my colleagues, in matters such as in fostering open government, protecting property owner’s rights, and maintaining traditional patriotic values.  The responsibilities of leadership carry with them the need to stand on principle.  Agree when you can; dissent when you must.  But always listen to the people you represent.  That’s what most matters to me.

Question 2:  What have they done that may not be readily visible, but will improve quality of life for their constituents going forward?

Enfield Councilperson Robert Lynch Answer:  I believe during these past four years I have encouraged and promoted a spirit of community and cooperation.  For whatever reason, we in Enfield are known for our partisanship and our opinionated approach to governance.  While that may prove helpful to a degree, it can be destructive when taken to excess.  My campaign theme, “We are One Enfield” recognizes that there is more that unites us than divides us.  I’ve welcomed all points of view, from liberals, conservatives, and the politically non-aligned.  Whether in working to preserve our elective offices, promoting our community institutions, or seeking to lessen the rancor of debate, I believe I’ve enhanced Enfield’s political climate in subtle, incremental ways.  I’d hope to continue that kind of leadership.

Question: What important work do they hope to be re-elected to complete?

Enfield Councilperson Robert Lynch Answer:  Enfield has challenges ahead.  We have placed our fire governance under an independent commission.  Our Town Board must do what it can to ease that transition.  A new, large subdivision has alerted us to the fragility of water resources in Enfield.  We need to revise our laws to establish a “right to water” as fundamental to those who build here.  We need to preserve our heritage, help our Food Pantry secure a new home, and ensure there’ll always be an Enfield Elementary where our young students can learn.  We must keep taxes low despite a limited assessment base.  We must guarantee the Right to Farm to ensure Enfield’s rural character remains as important as our Comprehensive Plan says it should be.  Challenges confront us.  I look forward to joining in their resolution.

Robert Lynch, Councilperson