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Resolving a tied vote in the Town of Delaware

December 18, 2013

To the people of the Town of Delaware:

The tie vote last month between candidates John Gain and John Murphy for a seat on the Delaware Town Board creates a unique opportunity for the current board members to demonstrate their strength of character, their integrity, and their attitude towards their constituents.

How will they respond to this opportunity? How are they going to resolve the tie? What about those people who voted for both John Gain and John Murphy? How will board members explain and justify handing the position to one candidate and denying it to the other?

It has been suggested by some that the Town Board should resolve the tie by simply tossing a coin. This idea has merit and an increasing number of supporters in the town. The four Republicans should feel comfortable with this method for at least the following reasons: they will be seen by all voters as good sports who are willing to play fair; the political balance would in no way be threatened should the Democratic candidate win the toss; no matter what the outcome, the townspeople will know that they have a qualified and reasonable person representing them.

On the other hand, the four Republicans on the board could choose to ignore a large number of their constituents by deciding to play party politics and vote for one of their own simply because town law says they can. If you were in their shoes, what would you do?

If you agree that the tie should be resolved fairly by tossing a coin, please let the people who are supposed to be representing you know how you feel.

Steve Lundgren
Hortonville, NY