Editor’s Note: The following is a guest column submitted in response to an editorial we published yesterday, “I’m not sure what to make of N.Y. Speaker’s take on plant.”
To submit a guest column, contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The following was written by Ithaca area resident Ken Deschere:
I met Speaker Heastie and members of his entourage as well. One comment he made that struck me was that he’d never been to Ithaca before. I’m glad he included us on his upstate tour, and I think he was clear that he knows he is not fully attuned to all the local issues.
Yesterday, Heastie gave this reaction when asked by the Ithaca Voice about the Cayuga Power Plant: “I haven’t looked at that. Usually, on these types of issues, I defer to the local officials.”
I think this is a refreshingly humble position. He knows he’ll have to trust the judgement of the people who live here, at least until he better knows the depths of the issues.
We both feel, I believe, that leaders should lead, taking action based on a set of deeply-held principles and good understanding of the matters at hand. But when he doesn’t (yet) have a good understanding of a complex issue, deferring to the opinions of those who do, seems wise to me. He described just how chaotic things have seemed to him, since becoming Speaker. That he trusts the local officials who know better than he does, is admitting he’s still learning how much he still needs to learn.
When you’re on the home turf of a needed political ally, showing your respect for that ally’s judgement is an easy choice.
Mr. Heastie has inherited a role as ring leader of a multi-ring circus. Understanding the limits of his own knowledge and experience in matters new to him is a good sign, in my honest opinion. If he’s here next year and seems equally uninformed about local matters, then questions should be asked.
Given the vindictiveness of our current Governor, avoiding sound-bites or declarations which could be taken out of context seems prudent. He needs to calm the waters, not stir them up unnecessarily.
That just MY opinion. My kids will gladly tell you that I’m often wrong.
Thanks for covering our local news so well.
— Ken Deschere
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