Friday, March 21, 2008

David Doonan elected as Mayor of Greenwich NY with 75% of the vote

On Tuesday David Doonan was elected Mayor of Greenwich, NY, a small village north east of Albany, NY. David is a Green and ran for mayor in a non-partisan village election under the Open Government Party banner. Some of you met David in January when he attended our Green Party Campaign School, and his victory stands a a wonderful example of how we can apply our campaign knowledge to one of the many village elections here in Monroe County.

This was in the Glens Falls Post-Star on Wednesday:
Open Government Party sweeps Greenwich Election

In case you didn’t notice, there’s a new political party in the village of Greenwich, and their election to three top board seats bodes well for the premise of open government.

David Doonan, running on the new Open Government Committee, swamped the incumbent mayor and the deputy mayor to win 75 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s village election. Doonan’s running mates, Mary Catherine “Cathy” Brown and Lyle Hayes also won seats as trustees.

In his campaign, Doonan — a member of the ZBA and the Chamber of Commerce — vowed to make Greenwich’s government more open. He said he’d like to go out and solicit more input from citizens and the business community, and he wants to end the perceived disconnect with Greenwich residents.

Among his pledges: to improve accessibility by videotaping meetings, broadcasting them on TimeWarner and uploading them to the Internet. He also plans on a yearly “State of the Village” statement to give residents a better idea how things stand.

Ms. Brown, who won her trustee seat with 28 percent of the vote in a five-way race for two seats, said the current administration is “almost secretive.” She couldn’t pinpoint specifics, but said it’s more about a perception. She vowed to change that view.

Open government itself is largely about perception. Governments can follow the letter of the law, but still be secretive and unapproachable.

We applaud the Open Government Party in Greenwich on its victories and urge other citizen candidates to make open government a keystone of their campaigns, as these citizens did.

– Mark Mahoney

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