The victories earned by the entire incumbent slate in the recent municipal elections are well-deserved. The re-elected members of the City Council and School Committee have each shown a degree of service to the community which returned him or her to office.
This recent election showed a refreshing return to contested seats in most cases, a departure from years when incumbents ran unopposed. “Opposition,” by the way, is a term better-supplanted by “choice.” This would be a suitable and accurate portrayal of candidates submitting resumes to the electorate for employment consideration.
Once the boasting and gloating are over, it behooves the victors to re-examine the dialogues which ensued during the campaign. In particular, the incumbents who lost ground or entire ward precincts to challengers have a supreme opportunity to self examine, perceive reality, and reach out to the ideas and styles embodied by the office-seekers who earned a sizable number of votes.
A noble and shrewd approach would be to invite said activists to participate in the governing. An outreach to embrace the valid policies touted by those also-rans would be a classy, intelligent, humane move for those elected to truly include the entire populace within his or her purview. After all, the citizens are the most important element here.
Listening to and heeding all persons’ concerns and ideas is healthy to democracy and civic interests. It is unity personified.