NEWFANE — Small-town selectboards should be apolitical. Candidates don't run as members of a political party, and the best selectboard is a diverse group of individuals who want to serve their town by managing the budget and listening to the concerns of all citizens.
But in Newfane, three candidates who are allied to a political group (West River Valley Mutual Aid) are running together, like a Tammany Hall ticket.
This sort of political maneuvering is contrary to the community-mindedness of individual service to the town. If all three get in, they will constitute a majority on the five-member Selectboard.
Through the letters that their supporters are submitting to this paper and the Reformer, it's clear that they will support the social engineering proposals that the WRVMA group has attempted to get the Newfane Selectboard to adopt in the past.
Having a diverse board made up of individuals with different points of view yet who share a desire to listen to all residents - not just those they agree with politically - is so crucial to a healthy democracy.
Through listening to different perspectives and debating various approaches, good decisions are arrived at. That diversity will be crushed if all three of these candidates make it onto the Selectboard and form a monolithic majority.
Newfane voters can break up this political bloc by voting for the independent candidate, Cristine White, who will focus on managing the town and who will treat all town residents with equal respect.