Friday evening, the winners in Putnam’s elections in November were sworn in, with a few others taking their oaths in smaller ceremonies later. There was a good crowd on hand. And the evening tells us a couple of things. First, it is refreshing, again, at how orderly this is. It’s how we do things. Even in a county where a number of people had been expecting one outcome (that incumbent Sheriff Don Smith would win reelection) and that outcome didn’t happen, the transfer continued apace. Both Smith and incoming Sheriff Robert Langley Jr. issued gracious statements, with Langley thanking Smith for his years of dedicated service and saying “He served all of the people who make Putnam home, as well as visitors to our wonderful County,” and Smith noting the “great honor and privilege” he had had in serving as sheriff and, before that, deputy county executive.
And I am reminded, again, how very fortunate we are that in so many elections, good people are willing to put themselves forward, accept the sacrifices and grief and public disclosure that accompany running for office, and seek to make a difference.
It’s a good question for all of us to ask, in fact: How are we going to make a difference in 2018? How can we make things better? An apt time to think about that, especially as parts of our social interaction and our world affairs seem so troubled.
Are you not sure if we’re fortunate to live in a genuine democracy, not sure if voting is worth it, if it makes a difference? Look at Iran over the weekend. It’s worth it.
A reminder: I am open to speaking to any Putnam County civic or school group or class. I welcome the chance to meet more people, talk with readers and potential readers, and hear what they think about our county’s challenges. I speak occasionally with journalism students in a Haldane class, but would likewise enjoy meeting with students in Carmel, Brewster or Mahopac. Call or email me and we’ll schedule.
In the realm of making things better: Check on an older neighbor or relative; as I write this Monday, this cold is brutal, and we’re supposed to get a serious storm later this week.
Until next week.
Douglas Cunningham is editor and publisher of both the Courier and its sister paper the PCNR, in Cold Spring. Reach him at 845- 265-2468, or by email at email@example.com. Letters to the editor, on this or other topics, are welcome. Please send by email as plain text or a Word document by 9 am Monday.