To the editor:
Without endorsing John Scofield’s rhetoric (“ultra-greenies”…“will bankrupt us,” etc.) in his letter of Oct. 22, I do wish to affirm one factor he identifies in the Oberlin city council race, and identify one he implies. I am not writing to endorse any particular candidates, but to emphasize some points to consider.
First, as Mr. Scofield said, there are “many important goals for this community, not just environmentalism.” No election is safe from single-issue candidates, alas, but no government is safe with single-issue leaders, regardless the issue. Good candidates might have “broad vision” or “far horizons” but tunnel vision is destructive.
Secondly, Mr. Scofield, like most of us, assumes past behavior is an indicator of future performance. No guarantee, of course (as financial firms remind us!), but history is a basis for expectations about the future. That’s why candidates run on (or from) their records.
A while back, some council members chose to attempt by informal means what they could not achieve through council action – namely, dismissing the city manager. Whatever their motives or goals, that action is now part of their record.
There are many important goals for this community, and not everyone nor every sector of the community has – or needs to have – the same priorities. No one issue trumps every other issue. Council and community need to regard all the different and sometimes conflicting priorities with respect, and respectfully negotiate our path forward together. I hope the community will elect a council with broad awareness of Oberlin’s needs and concerns: It’s not all about guns or no guns; it’s not all about coal or no coal; and it’s not all about drama.