Sunday, July 17, 2011

Keep Dave Foubert Mayor

I know and like Yellow Springs mayoral candidate Michael Cannon. But, after reading his letter announcing his candidacy in the Yellow Springs News last week (July 7, 2011, Other Voices – “Why I want to be mayor”), I have to say I like him better for Village Council than for Mayor. Cannon wrote that it is his intention as a candidate for mayor “…to connect the dots between the ideas that will move us forward as a community and the resources to make it happen.” He goes on to talk about, among other things, creating relationships with other communities, reducing our carbon footprint, making space for our artists and dealing with unemployment. He doesn’t say how as Mayor he would or could implement these ideas.

In our form of village government, the office of mayor is largely ceremonial. It is not like Dayton, where the Mayor has a seat on the City Council. The real import of the mayoral job description in Yellow Springs is its justice of the peace function. I can remember back to the mid-nineties when I was attending an orientation session for parents of incoming Antioch students and Mayor Foubert spoke to us about what happens if your child is arrested in Yellow Springs. As a lawyer, I was impressed with his level-headed and compassionate approach to his position on the bench of Mayor's Court. Recenlty, we saw that in how he handled a case where a prank by local youth got out of hand. In a more emotional setting, young lives could have been ruined, but they were not.

Mr. Cannon is quoted elswhere in the same edition of the News as saying that on Mayor’s Court he will use precedent and common sense. I have no doubt that his intentions are good and that he would be fair, but he would have a steep learning curve. Mayor Foubert has the advantage of experience, especially where it counts, 20 years on the bench of Mayor’s Court.

There is no question that Mr. Cannon is full of noble ideas, ideas that, if implemented, could make this a better place. But, I fail to see how in our system of government the Mayor can lower our carbon footprint or deal with unemployment. As Mayor, he could issue a meaningless proclamation; on Village Council he could cast a vote. And, from having seen Cannon operate in the past, I suspect he would keep other council members on their toes. I understand that there is still one open seat on council that no one is running for. Maybe it’s not too late to switch.

In this case, I have to give the nod to Dave Foubert for Mayor. We are lucky to have him on the bench of Mayor’s Court and otherwise representing our village. And from personal experience giving away a bride, I can tell you he performs a darn good wedding ceremony. We should all dread the day he retires.



Yvonne said...

Let's hope Mr. Cannon reads this blog. Yes, he sounds more like he should run for council....

Kay Reimers said...

In all the years he's been judge I haven't heard anyone emotional or bitter about his decisions even when they disagree with him. Which is remarkable in a village as confrontational as this one. Plus he's a great "marrying" man. He's married off everyone from the elderly, the transgendered and even my own sister with grace and dignity.