In with the new

Hillsborough has a new mayor! It's nice to see the incumbent wasn't bitter about being ousted. Ooops:

Stevens, in his first run for public office, defeated Joe Phelps, the two-term incumbent, in the November election.

Phelps, in remarks to the board, said he thought the issue of adding more sidewalks to town was a "deciding factor" in this year's election.

"Mr. Stevens promoted this idea of having sidewalks all over town time and again," Phelps said. "Everyone wants sidewalks, but how to pay for them has always been the real issue."

Phelps said he'd be paying attention at budget time to see how the issue of sidewalks is addressed, "to make sure that campaign promises don't turn into campaign rhetoric."

- Mayor sworn in, leads 1st meeting, 12/13/05



Rhetoric not matching action? How unusual! It's not like we have local experience with a Candidate persona not matching the implementation persona.

Then again, it's probably doesn't hurt to be vigilant ;-) - especially if you have a Candidate's specific campaign statements "on the record".

I imagine Mr. Stevens will work diligently to fulfil his promises.

Did Mr. Phelps make that statement last night (outgoing remarks) or sometime prior? If last night, then really tacky.

Now that I think of it, there seem to be a few losers this year who have handled themselves with less decorum than Mr. Phelps appears to have done last night.

For those who only casually follow Hillsborough politics, I can see how one would come to the above "bitter" conclusion. However, context matters. In Hillsborough (and probably other towns too), candidates are notorious for making big promises (like lowering water rates) and then not delivering. It seems a rare occasion when elected officials are actually held accountable for their campaign promises or inappropriate actions and then it is only in extreme cases or when some sort of egregious event or action has occurred.

Tom Stevens made some very tall promises during his campaign. I heard them myself. Why shouldn't he be held to account for them? I see Phelps comments as someone who obviously cares a great deal about Hillsborough and wants its citizens to receive what they expect. Anyone who knows Joe Phelps knows that he never made a promise he couldn't (and didn't) keep. I think Joe Phelps expects that from others as well. If that isn't considered to be decorum, then so be it.

From a historical context, Phelps comments were calm when compared to previous Mayors of Hillsborough. Let us recall the day when former Hillsborough Mayor Horace Johnson was ousted. During his farewell speech, he called new Hillsborough residents "evil and sinister" for moving into his town and not voting to re-elect him.

My Brother was NOT bitter on being upset at The Mayor's election by a person whom I will be the first to say is a most pleasant individual.

Joe Phelps' remarks are true -- realistically, and oddly enough the Herald's Editorial today points in the same direction.

If The Town of Hillsborough has money for sidewalks and trails, then they would fare better to use the money for lowering the town's water rates - foremost. The working class citizens of the town are strapped each month to pay their water bills; sometimes, choosing between another need. THAT, my friends is what is important to the working class citizens of Hillsborough. My brother IS realistic and knows the needs of the working class citizens of Hillsborough.

Rachel Phelps Hawkins

I'm going to have to come down with Ms. Hawkins on this one. After watching far too many school board members vote no on anything that involved spending money new money (Cedar Ridge High School bond) then puff their chests out with pride at "what they built" when their colleagues and southern Orange County voters delivered the goods, it's one thing to promise things to Hillsborough residents, it's another to get them to agree on paying for it.

I read her brother's comments to indicate a continued informed interest in what's best for his town, despite his defeat. I don't know the guy, but that's my read of the words on the page.


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