Joe Golden is not wishy-washy, he is firm and action oriented

To the Editor:

Among the four candidates for the two open positions on the Berne Town Board, my first vote will go to Joe Golden, our deputy supervisor. Why?

Over the years I have come to know Joe as both a friendly, reliable neighbor living down the road and as a diligent, widely knowledgeable member of our town board. I would not want to lose Joe as a neighbor any more than I would want Berne to lose him as one of our representatives in town office.

He is a man of integrity, mature reasoning, and alert intelligence, who is always ready to go the extra mile — and he has a good sense of humor, not taking himself too seriously.

It is no surprise that Joe has been re-elected several times over the past 12 years, while several board members have come and gone.  He has worked successfully on a wide range of issues, projects, and committees. He has worked with three different town supervisors.

He continues to make important contributions in his position. As a result, he has a unique, extensive, even invaluable, grasp of the complex workings of our town's government as well as the variety of problems faced by town residents — to whom he is always available, sensitive, and responsive. Such valuable awareness and expertise comes only over time and it would be sad to lose it.

Joe practices what he preaches, so, for example, when he has told me that he believes that a board member has to represent all the residents of the town, no matter their party, economic situation, age, or political philosophy, I know from observation that is what he does his best to accomplish.

Joe is not wishy-washy. He is firm and action oriented, without being belligerent or impulsive.

He is not close-minded. He has convictions, but is a willing listener who makes time to study issues and explore workable alternatives.

Governing a town and managing a private business are different in many ways, but what they have in common is the need to plan ahead; to conceive, implement, and evaluate projects; to procure goods and services; to bargain and negotiate; and to manage employees and finances. Joe and Gail, his wife, owned and successfully operated a restaurant business, The Maple Inn, for 25 years in East Berne.

Joe has brought those hard-earned skills to bear in his years on the town board, including being a thoughtful and consistent voice for careful spending, tight budgeting, and low tax rates. He has often said, "What the town spends must first come out of the pockets of the residents and the board needs to be frugal and spend the taxpayers’ monies wisely."

If Joe were only my neighbor, I don't think I would be able to write about his effectiveness as an elected official. However, in the past couple of years, I have worked as a volunteer, first on Berne's Comprehensive Plan Review Committee and, currently, on the Emergency Management Planning Committee.

As a result, I have had the opportunity to see Joe in action up close in his public roles as well as having many informative conversations about several of the town's challenges one-on-one. And, with his family's deep roots in our community, I have gotten a much richer feel for Berne and its history.  Consequently, I am thankful that he is serving our town, not only on the board itself, but in other related venues as well.

I encourage Berne voters to join with me in making Joe Golden one of your choices for town board on Nov.  5.

Victor Porlier
East Berne

Editor’s note: See related election profiles.