March 18, 2009: The truth about my candidacy

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To The Editor:
I returned to Margaretville and made my home here because of the neighborly, small town feeling that seemed to pervade every aspect of life. When I ran for the village board four years ago and was elected, my decision seemed to be justified. Even though we’ve not always agreed with each other, most people, even opponents, have remained positive and respectful. So I was shocked at Carol O’Beirne’s negative ad attacking me last week. This sort of politics never had a place in our village before and mean-spirited and divisive ads like hers do not bode well for our future. It is appropriate to outline your own qualifications when running in a village campaign. It is entirely another thing to lie about your opponent’s record or your own in an effort to win. The end does not justify the means.
The truth is, I’m the current deputy mayor, I’m the one with the experience – not only with village budgets and taxpayer concerns, but also with flood relief and stream management initiatives. I’m the one who has done my homework and gotten my hands dirty. I’m the one who “walks the walk” while others just talk about what might be.
I’m proud of my record of service to this village and of the fact that I have been there, day in and day out, whenever I was needed. My five years of working on Main Street in Margaretville, coupled with my current work for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation are an asset, not a detriment. My job allows me the flexibility of scheduling that I need to be here during routine business hours, evenings, weekends – anytime when my presence is essential – just as I have been for the last four years. My “out of town” job also helps me understand how one of the most important agencies in our region works and what it can do for us.
I’ve tried to earn your vote to become Mayor of Margaretville and I sure hope you’ll go to the polls today and cast your vote for me.

John Van Benschoten,
Village of Margaretville Trustee,
Deputy Mayor, and
Candidate for Mayor