Well, it’s over. My first election campaign, a contested race for a seat on the Region 1 Board of Education, ended Tuesday night with a resounding 2-1 defeat – in favor of my opponent. What a relief!
In discussing this report with my editor, he said, “Can’t you at least sound like you’re a bit disappointed?“No, I can’t. Consider this: If I had won, I would have to go to Region 1 Board of Education meetings every third Monday of the month- and a slew of extra meetings the board holds during budget season. Sometimes the meetings go on and on (and on) and I would have to sit at a table looking alert for all those hours with several people who weren’t too keen at the idea of having me as member, anyway, because as a reporter for the Waterbury Republican until June, I wrote stories each month about the board— stories some members didn’t always appreciate. If I had won, they may have acquired an extra level of resentment at the fact that I had bumped my opponent, a kindly well-liked retired kindergarten teacher, who rarely spoke and never opposed a motion during her one-and-a-half years as an appointee to fill an unexpired term. During the morning of election day my husband asked me if I had prepared a winning speech and a losing speech. It hadn’t even entered my mind. “No, but if I win, I’m going to demand a recount!” I responded quickly without thinking. That’s when I knew I was chomping at the bit to lose.Mostly, I’m excited about losing because of my new project. During the six months since I left the Waterbury Republican American, I’ve been writing as a correspondent for Indian Country Today (www.indidancoutnry.com), a national weekly newspaper that covers American Indian issues. I love the paper and the people and the issues, but everywhere I go in the Northwest Corner, people tell me how much they miss my reporting. To be honest, I miss it too. So here’s the plan: I’ll continue as a correspondent with Indian Country Today, but I’m going back to covering local news. I’m setting up an independent Internet news site – like www.ctnewsjunkie.com, a source of inspiration for me. These independent news sites are growing in popularity by leaps and bounds. I just learned that they’re known in the hip Internet news community— of which I am not yet a member – as “hyper-local news sites.” The word “hyper” threw me for a moment when I first heard it, because I associate it with “activity.“I’m really delighted about it and can’t wait to start. I hope to have the site up and running within weeks. The site will cover general news about the towns, governments, politics, business, art and cultural events, and schools. Which means I’m going to have to go to Region 1 Board of Education meetings every third Monday of the month, and a slew of extra meetings over the budget season. But I won’t be at the table with the board members. I’ll be sitting in the audience with the other reporters. And I’ll be happy.