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Do-it-yourself guide to State of the Town

It's time for town supervisors to deliver a State of the Town address.

Knowing how busy they are, I thought I would give them a hand, complete with options to make it their own.

Welcome to the annual State of the Town of (insert name) address. Thank you for coming out in this (a) cold, (b) frigid, (c) ridiculous weather.

The state of the town is (a) strong, (b) not bad, (c) something I would rather not dwell on, if you don't mind.

The previous year brought our community many (a) pleasant surprises, (b) unexpected developments, (c) criminal investigations, and I am (a) excited, (b) concerned, (c) frightened to think of where things will stand next year if we continue down this path.

I would first like to thank our town employees because they (a) work so hard, (b) hold all the cards at the bargaining table, (c) have made clever use of cell phone cameras when I visit local taverns.

I would be remiss if I did not mention my colleagues on the Town Board who (a) have been unflinching in their support of my agenda, (b) are devoted to doing what's best for the town, (c) outnumber me, 4-1.

It's only when we work together that we succeed.

The people of this community elected me because of (a) my spotless record, (b) those confusing new voting machines, (c) my opponent's frequent appearance on the police blotter.

I promised the voters (a) that I would cut taxes, (b) that programs and services would be maintained, (c) as little as possible because I know how the "gotcha media" work. I think I have delivered.

No State of the Town would be complete without a list of our accomplishments, (a) and we are fortunate to have a few, (b) but I had to look hard to find any, (c) but this year could be an exception.

Our long-delayed road project (a) was completed, (b) finally was started, (c) gives new meaning to the term cost overruns. Our plan to replace the sewer system got a boost from (a) a federal grant, (b) a state loan, (c) public outcry about the horrible stench every summer.

And we are in line for a new historic marker to (a) celebrate our heritage, (b) commemorate one of our most famous citizens, (c) remind people of what we once were 150 years ago.

Which is not to suggest that there haven't been challenges. The economy is (a) struggling, (b) not rebounding as quickly as we had hoped, (c) not doing my ulcer any favors.

Sales tax revenue is (a) flat, (b) falling, (c) a distant memory. And we continue to face obstacles from (a) Albany, (b) state government, (c) state government in Albany.

We are not strangers to hardship in (insert town name). Our ancestors survived the Great Depression, world wars, and civil and social unrest.

Surely we can (a) learn from their example, (b) honor their memory, (c) stop complaining on blogs and message boards about every little thing.

The key to our success going forward is cooperation because I (a) cannot do it alone, (b) would love to get something other than criticism, (c) am not that bright.

I am reminded today of the words of our greatest president, (a) Abraham Lincoln, (b) Ronald Reagan, (c) Chester A. Arthur, who famously said, (a) "A house divided against itself cannot stand," (b) "There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers," (c) "My private life is nobody's damned business."

There is much work to do if we are to meet the challenges of the 21st century head-on.

I hope that you will join me and (a) do your best every day, (b) embrace the awesome responsibility that comes from public service, (c) hope against hope that the feds come through with some cash.

Thank you for your time. Now let's (a) get to work, (b) make our town proud, (c) take advantage of the open bar.


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