Thursday, July 8, 2021

The Rumor Is True

just reported the "rumor" that Gary Purnhagen was withdrawing as a candidate for alderman in the First Ward. It turns out it's not a rumor at all. Last week, Purnhagen posted this statement on his Facebook page.
Once again, I'm learning that life isn't predictable.
When I decided to run as the Democratic candidate for the 1st Ward Alderperson, I committed to showing up and doing the work. This week I accepted an employment opportunity that will prevent me from delivering on that commitment. I just will not have the time to properly represent the 1st Ward and, therefore, will not run or serve.
Unfortunately, it is too late for my name to be removed from the ballot in November. Therefore, I urge someone else to step up and declare yourself a write-in candidate. I would much rather decide who will represent us than the Common Council at large.
I thank everyone who supported me in this campaign.
Purnhagen's statement alludes to what will happen if he, in the First Ward, and Calvin Lewis, in the Third Ward, are elected--and they will be if no one steps up to run as a write-in candidate--and decline to serve: the Common Council will elect one of the representatives of the First Ward and one of the representatives of the Third Ward. The outcome will be that 20 percent of the aldermen on the next Council will not have been elected by the people they are supposed to represent.


  1. Damn, good for him, but our loss. His willingness to learn the ins and outs of city government while taking on the major challenge of Shared Streets this year, and his responsiveness to concerns was commendable and he had my vote.

    This really underscores this issues with our system of elected government here in Hudson. The competent citizens are too busy to do the job. And a job on the council is not full time or paid enough for someone with a decent resume to make it work. So what we get is, at best, well meaning idealists who don’t understand the administrative challenges of keeping the city afloat, and at worst, shills for outside interests above the citizens. We really need to rethink the charter: eliminate half the alder people down to 1 per ward, as well as the council president, and then hire a contract highly qualified city manager to be the chief executive. The council will act as a board to oversee the manager and departments, manage their contract, and be the voice of the people. The mayor would just be one of the councilors, voted by the council. A “weak” mayor system, rather than a “strong” mayor one. Most smaller cities run this way for good reason. The trick is getting the current council to vote themselves out of a job. Can this be done through voter referendum? Not sure.

    Please, someone run as a write-in. I know people have wished for this. We need some competency and sanity to move this city forward.

  2. A City Manager! Why not ! Sounds like a great idea to clean up the mess !!!

  3. Just as replacing the weighted vote was a vast improvement over that antiquated and debilitating system, creating the role of City Manager would be the next vast improvement.