I was ambivalent to local politics until I learned that a town-owned plot of land adjacent to Riverside Park on Riverside Avenue was being explored as the new home of the Saugatuck firehouse. Upon learning of the possible firehouse in this location, I immediately sent an email to all RTM members raising my concerns. Most failed to respond. Almost all that did respond, were either unwilling to engage or were defensive of the idea.

Melissa Kane and Jimmy Izzo did respond -- not in writing, but in person. Melissa and Jimmy were genuinely interested in learning about the concerns my neighbors and I were raising and attended a neighborhood meeting to hear us out. Melissa introduced me to Helen Garten, and she listened to our concerns as well. Shortly thereafter, Helen Garten spoke on the matter at a Long-Range Planning Committee meeting. She expressed her support to protect the land and secure its public use for future generations.

I am voting for Helen Garten and Melissa Kane because they have demonstrated that they care about their constituents, they are able to take a position using reason and common sense, and they have the conviction to state their opinion without reservation. Connecting with constituents, drawing sensible conclusions, and being vocal are signs of strong leadership. Please don't be ambivalent to this election. Having Helen and Melissa at the top will ensure your issues receive the attention they deserve, you'll know where you stand, and action will be taken.

David Sarno