The 2015 Village Mayoral race is underway for the Village of New Paltz, as New Paltz residents Sally Rhoads, Tim Rogers and Amy Cohen have come forth to announce their candidacy.
Local government elections are a time for New Paltz residents who are not actively involved in community happenings to formulate a more scrutinizing eye to community legislation, governance and overall condition of the town and village we live and thrive in.
We at The New Paltz Oracle want to remind the students of SUNY New Paltz to not undermine their own residency and relationship with the Village of New Paltz.
As a campus, we are are an integral component of the village. We are as much a member of the community as residential families, and are also a provider of commerce. We are a unified face of the New Paltz spirit: free, creative and unique.
We are all these things, and we should be acknowledged as such within the village government and by the Village Mayor.
The sad reality, however, is most politicians make initiatives that appeal to the majority of the public in order to obtain the most votes. If we do not express our power of residency and opinion through our right to vote in New Paltz, local politicians will not feel the need to take into consideration student concerns and give the student community members precedence.
When this happens, you might end up with things like housing laws that look to remove students from the village and fail to recognize their importance to the foundation of the Village of New Paltz.
But this rhetoric is more than a possibility – its a real life legislation passed by the Village to go into effect June 1.
If you do not actively care and participate in the formulation of the Village government, the Village government will not care about you. That is why it is so important to ensure that you are registered to vote in our village mayoral election come May. Many people fail to recognize the importance of their vote because they assume that it just doesn’t matter – but that is where the misconception lies.
If future proposals come into play that affect you in some way, you earn your voice as a voter to speak out against it if you do not agree with them. If you contribute no input into who our elected officials are in the first place, then it takes away the validity of your discontent.
As current residents of the Village of New Paltz, we all hold a duty that should remain with us regardless of whether we plan to stay here after graduation or not.
If the Village does not want to make the step to communicate with SUNY New Paltz students, then we should take initiative to communicate with them. Make your voice heard. Educate yourself about the positions and platforms of each candidate. Attend Village board meetings. Email or call candidates and let them know that you are a student, what your concerns are and that you will be bringing those concerns to life your vote in the Village Mayor election on May 5.
Editorials represent the views of the majority of the editorial board. Columns, op-eds and letters, excluding editorials, are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The New Paltz Oracle, its staff members, the campus and university or the Town or Village of New Paltz.