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Primary Narrows Field as Meagan and Theresa Vie for Council Presidency

Primary Narrows Field as Meagan and Theresa Vie for Council Presidency

The Council of Advocates met on Monday, October 5, at 7:00 PM at the Coleman Gromack auditorium of the Venture Center.  Present were the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary.  Theresa Freson acted as the group’s facilitator and agency Executive Director, Dan Lukens was also present.  Julie Langdon took pictures.

Approximately 75 voting members of the Council were in attendance.

Kyle, Terry and agency director Dan Lukens were all standing around scratching their heads as Council members arrived for this important post primary Town Meeting. Apparently, between the three of them they were not familiar enough with the PA system to get the microphone to work.

The hall was noisy but the air was pleasant and affable as a number of the Council members sauntered in a few minutes late. People were finding their seat when the calm in the room was shattered by the banging of a gavel and the ranting of Executive Director, Dan Lukens.

“We have the results of the primary,” Lukens announced in a booming voice apparently overcompensating for the lack of a microphone.

“It was a close election. Meagan and Theresa are our winners.”

Lukens went on to explain that the two primary winners would face each other in the election, which would take place at the November Town Meeting. He then turned the floor over to Theresa the President who opened the meeting.

The Special Election portion of the Town Meeting opened at approximately 7:07PM. The President then proceeded to take an opportunity to speak to the group on behalf of her campaign.

Theresa began with a long halting pause as she struggled with her opening line. “Vote for me,” she said before another long pause.

She suggested that the group do a bake sale to help feed hungry people, harkening back to the altruistic themes that had got her elected in 2007. As she spoke she began to get her flow back and relayed some of her more confident and familiar aspects.

“If you vote for me you’ll put a smile on my face,” she said.

The group clapped for Theresa as she yielded the floor.

Meagan introduced herself with a confidence in her voice. “My name is Meagan and I am running for President. If you vote for me I will work to promote new activities and get us more input on the parties and events that we are already doing,” she said.

“Most importantly, I will get the staff a raise. They work hard for us,” she said firmly.

Speaking out of order, Lukens interjected, “That ought to have been worthy of applause.”
The group responded and began clapping for Meagan.

“I think it should be 10%!” Meagan said emphatically driving home her point.

The room erupted now with a roaring ovation and many of the members came to their feet cheering.

“I have a lot of ideas,” Meagan said struggling a bit to be heard over a crowd that had come to life. “Together we can do great things!” Meagan said and as she did her voice rose with her audience. It was and apt closing for a powerful speech that had apparently hit its mark.
Meagan yielded the floor to Theresa Freson to start the regular session of the Town Meeting.

Peter, the first speaker, introduced himself and then offered congratulations to the primary winners and all the candidates and pledged his support.

Esta addressed the group to update them on her efforts to lobby the Town of Orangetown to construct sidewalks along Route 340. “We are going to make this road safer not only for all of the Venture consumers who live on 340 but for the students, the residents of Thorpe Village and the entire community,” she said.

Angel, Roger, Marie, Suzanne, Bernadette all spoke out and threw their support to Meagan early in the meeting as the tension in the room grew. In the first minutes of the gathering, the voices in the room were lining up for the challenger.

Jeff and Maria, however, were there to offer a bit of comic relief. Though the participants had been asked to rise and to address the group from their seats and not from the lectern because the microphone was not working, Jeff, nonetheless, insisted on coming forward. When he got to the front of the room he launched into a raging diatribe banging his fist on the lectern and raising his voice. He seemed angry and gestured to Maria to come forward, which, she did.

Maria came to the front with her hands on her hips. “I’m not mama,” she said scolding Jeff. She then launched into a lecture of her own. Jeff, in the mean time began hugging Executive Director Dan Lukens and shaking his hand.

It was all a bizarre bit of theater but the group seemed more amused than annoyed by Jeff’s antics.

Marie continued to scold Jeff: “Wednesday, what happened?” she asked Jeff but it was a rhetorical question.
“Not wah, wah, wah!” she said to Jeff but her statement was probably more for the benefit of the group.

The group was apparently too embarrassed to applaud and so the next speaker took the floor in silence.

The endorsements continued throughout the meeting but much of the conversation involved the usual balance of sports updates and personal anecdotes. Mike, from Sydney drive, mentioned their vegetable garden and the beautiful tomatoes they grew this season. Nellie and Norma spoke jointly offering congratulations to the candidates and support and gratitude for their staff.

James reminded the group of the recent passing of his long-time girlfriend Janet, a much revered member of the Venture Family. A moment of silence was observed making for a very sober close to a Town Meeting that was mostly a mix of hard-knuckled politics, zany high jinks and personal updates.

Theresa Freson took the floor for a final announcement. “The Presidential Election will take place at the November 9, Town Meeting. The voting booth will be set up and DJ John will be on hand,” she said.

The meeting closed with applause at approximately 8:15PM.




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