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It’s time for a change in Ward 3

By   /   November 4, 2013  /   Comments

In all the conversations I’ve had with Ward 3 commissioner Chris Pike, I have to say that I genuinely like the guy.  He’s very personable, and I actually enjoy just chatting with him.  However, he’s a city commissioner and I’m someone who feels obligated to point out ways that can improve the City of Albany.  In this instance, that is by not voting for Chris Pike tomorrow.

There has been a lot said about how “nasty” things have gotten in the Ward 3 campaign on social media, but that’s just the nature of the beast.  Pike’s response to some of this is very, very telling though.

Things started when someone posted photographs of Pike’s campaign signs.  They were illegally placed in the median of one of Albany’s roads.  Anyone who spends time in Albany during campaign season knows that this is normal.  Apparently, the exception to this is Christopher Pike who reportedly took to social media to claim that these photographs were “staged”.  Really?

Harry Truman famously had a plaque on his desk that said, “The buck stops here.”  As a Navy veteran, this sentiment was beaten in to me (figuratively) in the idea that the captain of the ship is ultimately responsible for whatever happens on his ship.  It’s the idea that the man at the top is ultimately responsible.

While I disagree with him and his past campaign on a great many subjects, when Rep. Sanford Bishop’s campaign was notified that someone was using Albany Journal paper boxes to display campaign literature, I didn’t get a song and dance about how Bishop wasn’t responsible.  Instead, I got a polite thanks and a promise it would be dealt with.  It was.

Realistically, I know that Bishop didn’t know about that literature in my box, and I seriously doubt that Pike personally placed those signs.  The difference was in how each candidate reacted to the news.  Bishop and his people are pros.  They knew it was far better to just get it deal with than to try and make a thing out of it.  Pike, apparently, didn’t.

This seems like small potatoes, and it is.  However, photographs also surfaced recently of documents indicating that Pike had been arrested regarding bad checks.  I have received some flak in the past because I didn’t hit Pike hard when he apparently hit some financial troubles.  Yes, that’s exactly how I saw it.  As someone in a similar boat, I refused to beat a guy up when he was already down.

Of course, that’s before I knew arrests were made.

Pikes arrest was, quite simply, news.  It should have been announced when it happened, as he is a public official and should be held to a different standard.  The fact that it wasn’t smacks to Albanians of a cover-up.  I think we all know how people in this town feel about those.  The aftermath of Don Buie should have made that abundantly clear.

Tomorrow, citizens in Ward 3 will have three choices.  One, obviously, is Pike.  The other two are B.J. Fletcher and Cheryl Calhoun.  I’ll be honest, I consider both ladies to be friends of mine who I have no doubt will do whatever they can for the betterment of Albany.

It’s time that Ward 3 try representation that can accept responsibility.  Fletcher and Calhoun both seem to be the kind of folks to do just that.

Tom Knighton is the Editor and Publisher of the Albany Journal.

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