WATERTOWN — “All politics is local,” were the wise words used by former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill during his time in Congress. Today those words still ring true in America and nowhere is that more evident than here in town. Chair of the local Independent Party Richard Wick took a moment to be on an episode of Talk of the Town last week. While on the show he discussed what the Independent Party stands for, the upcoming town election and the future of the party.
The town’s Independent Party was formed a decade ago when residents banded together in an attempt to create a change in town.
When founded, Mr. Wick said that the party decided that its core pillars should be “Honesty, Integrity, Transparency” and those are the values that the party maintains today.
During his time on the show, Mr. Wick discussed the importance of having residents involved in local government and to be aware of what happens in town.
“The voters must realize that the Town Council has an incredible amount of power,” he said.
He mentioned that the council is the governing body in town and that it is responsible for most of the appointments to boards and commissions in town.
“They do very little vetting of the candidates,” he said about the appointment process. He believes that there should be transparency in the matter and that the council should be more aware of who is on a board and commission and what their agenda is.
Mr. Wick said that the Independent Party stands for more transparency in local government and fewer secret agendas among the members of various boards and commissions.
There will be an election for town council and board of education members in November this year.
During their caucus on Wednesday, August 28, the Independent Party nominated three individuals to run for the Town Council.
Residents Rachel Ryan, Paul Rinaldi and Gary Lafferty were nominated and endorsed by the Independent Party for their run for the Town Council.
“Our view is that they champion the principles of doing things right and doing the right things,” said Mr. Wick.
The Independent Party did not nominate or endorse anyone running for the board of education.
“If we were content with business as usual, there would be no reason for us to be here,” said Mr. Wick near the end of the episode.
While the party still has some growing to do, Mr. Wick and other party members are looking to make an impact on how the town operates.
Those interested in the episode may view it at the Prime Publishers Vimeo Account at https://vimeo.com/user11774408.