I have been following with interest the current re-election campaign of incumbent Winchester mayor, John David Smith, and his opponent, Danielle Bostick. A review of candidate Bostick's campaign website reveals her concern for transparency…"I will always convey the truth to the public." I wonder, though, has candidate Bostick given voters a transparent picture of her limitations in being able to satisfy the demands of serving as our city's mayor? Her website points out that "the mayor serves as the representative of the community" and "the added duties of the mayor are far more than ceremonial." But, does her website transparently inform voters that a full-time classroom teacher for ten months of the year would have limited capacity to represent the city during the normal workday, not just for ceremonial duties, but for speaking engagements with local civic groups, visits to local businesses and industries, attendance at various community task force meetings, and a host of other daytime activities that require the mayor's attention?
Please know that after having spent most of my adult life in public education, I deeply respect classroom teachers and what they add to our community. However, shouldn't voters carefully consider that a full-time classroom teacher does not have a flexible schedule and is limited to three personal leave days per year by current school board policy, effectively ruling out being available to fully carry out the mayor's day to day responsibilities? No matter how hard we may try, none of us can be two places at once. Since moving here nearly 30 years ago, I have been privileged to know and work with the outstanding individuals who have served as mayor. It is no coincidence that all of them have been self-employed entrepreneurs or had the ability to set their own schedules and commit to being fully present and accounted for whenever and wherever their leadership was needed. We are currently well-served by such a mayor. The role of mayor is demanding and time-consuming and should only be filled by someone who can give it the full attention it deserves, whenever and wherever needed.
Mayor John David Smith has served us well for the last four years. I urge you to join me in supporting his re-election with your vote.
Glenn Burdick is a resident of Winchester and former superintendent of Winchester Public Schools.