I have known Matt Francisco for eight years, since my family and I moved in next door to him and Joe. Matt and I talk regularly, in a neighborly fashion, and I voted for him two years ago when he ran for the Village Board.
But if I only got my information from the Putnam County News & Recorder, I might not have voted for him. This is because the PCNR has a habit of painting Matt out to be an obstructionist with some mysterious secret agenda. In reality, Matt is a cooperative guy who works extremely well with others, who speaks his mind but always keeps that mind open.
Boards, like any aspect of governance, have what we might call a gas pedal and a brake pedal. A responsible board uses the brake pedal to make sure they’re not going to spin out of control and end up costing us, the taxpayers, a lot of money.
We don’t have to drive far to see what it looks like when board members don’t use the brake pedal. Mini-malls built alongside historic homes. Housing projects that swamp the resources of the school district. Communities without charm, without character, and without solvency.
I’m sure it would be easier for Matt to just rubberstamp everything the PCNR headlines or editorials told him to. But that’s not why the majority of voters elected him. So he keeps doing his job, despite the nasty attacks, because he cares about this place we call home, and knows that the majority of us who live here do, too.