In an illuminating article about District 8 runoff, Jo Clifton snags this quote from Frank Ward, who hopes to take outgoing CM Ellen Troxclair’s spot as the lone Republican on Council.
In 2017, Troxclair testified in favor of Senate Bill 2, which would have prevented cities and counties from raising taxes by more than 4 percent above the effective tax rate from one year to the next. Adler, who has endorsed Ellis, testified against the bill, which eventually died. Troxclair’s actions angered a number of her colleagues, who publicly criticized her for taking a stand against the city’s interest.
Ward said if he is elected, he would like to work with his colleagues, not against them, on legislation, although he refused to make a firm commitment about testifying against the city’s positions. He said, “I know Ellen going up to the Capitol had an adverse effect on her relationships with some of her peers. I want to avoid having that similar outcome.”
Troxclair was testifying in favor of a terrible policy that would wreak havoc on our budget and the myriad social services it supports. For that she deserves criticism. Instead, however, the criticism she encountered largely focused on her betraying the Council fraternity. No matter what her views, the thinking went, she should keep them in the family. Going to the lege made her a snitch.
I spent some of my formative years in Sopranoland, so I have a soft spot for Mafia-style reasoning. But no elected official should feel committed to supporting the position held by her colleagues. Their only commitment should be to their principles and their constituents.