Next Monday. 3:00 P.M. According to the article in this morning's Standard Times, that will be when Judge Kane will issue his decision in the election case.
I don't know what it will be. Might have a guess rambling along in the back of my mind, but that is where it will stay. One thing I am certain of though is the fact the Town of Fairhaven, its people, were extremely fortunate to have had Judge Kane assigned to this case.
The town did hit the daily double with news coverage on the case though.
A companion article in the S-T addresses the testimony from the newspaper's reporter.
Back to the first piece. The crux of the matter gets summed up very appropriately at the end of the article when Judge Kane is noted as saying:
"This was a very intense election," he said. "The question is whether there was enough of an accumulation of errors" to warrant a new one.
You may say yes. You may say no. The judge will have his say come Monday.
An appeals court may have its say sometime down the road, and it now seems clear that one way or another, the voters are going to have another say about the whole thing.
If the judge doesn't toss this election, than what? We are in limbo I think until the appeal runs its course.
If he does toss the election, does that make the appeal moot? One might think so. Winning by one vote or a tie becomes irrelevant in an "invalid" election. Doesn't it?
Of course if the decisions on Monday ends up being appealed, what then?
My gut and limited mental capacity tell me the Judge's decision on the ballot is correct. Taking that and running with it, everything else is window dressing as far as the eventual outcome, i.e. a new election.
The continued prosecution of the case may serve a lofty goal in the long run. It may be no more than extracting a pound of flesh, with the blood. It is a near certainty that it will insure strict compliance with all procedures going forward. On that point one cannot argue.
So what happens in a new election? Who knows?
Once the parameters get set for that one, whatever position the pendulum that is public opinion sits is going to be very interesting. The backlash over the legal moves seems to be subsiding. People seem to understand that the "recount" aspect was a legitimate thing to do. The jury still seems to be a bit perturbed by everything else though.
DeTerra himself seems to have pushed the pendulum away from him. I don't see those who voted against him switching votes based on his actions Monday. Why would they? People aren't going to forget the past that quickly.
As to people who voted for him, well he can still depend on a number of nice guy votes, and a number of against the other side votes. Problem there is so can his expected opponent.
But how many of the let's call it pro-wind votes can he now depend on? How many people voted for him just because of his prior position on the turbines and his statements of measured response and proper action?
With the action taken, what issue now separates him from his opponent in a dead heat election?
Issue number one is now most definitely the turbines. All the other things the Board of Health does now have been safely packed into the trunk.
With his actions Monday, the die was in fact cast.
It could have been rolled with some vigor, with some real effect.
I have seen a few crap games in my time. You can tell the best players by how they approach the table and handle the dice. The one thing they all have is common is they all know you can't roll a natural with just a single die.