Yesterday, the Somerville Journal announced (see quote below) it would not endorse in the race for Ward 7 Alderman. They rightly refrained from endorsing incumbent Bob Trane because of his lack of independence from the mayor. However, while they praised Katjana Ballantyne for her commitment to responsiveness and mixed-use development, they stopped short of endorsing because of “her obliqueness on many of the issues”. What does that mean, you ask?
Merriam-Webster.com defines obliqueness as “the quality or state of having a veiled or uncertain meaning.” It seems the SJ did not feel Katjana was clear about her positions, although they surely had ample opportunity to read the statements on her website www.Katjana.org and ask her questions in person when they sat down together. Without knowing which of her positions they felt were unclear, we readers are left wondering how the SJ staff formed that impression of her. Their statement seems pretty “oblique” to me.
For me, the decision is simple. The incumbent is too close with the mayor, so we need an independent voice to represent us, someone like Katjana. That she shares my progressive values and has worked hard canvassing the ward all Summer is enough to earn my vote.
From the SJ:
Although both candidates have expressed a dedication to Ward 7 neighbors, we do not feel strongly enough to put full support behind either one. Incumbent Bob Trane has an important bond with many of his dedicated constituents, but he seems more skeptical of the mayor’s critics than of the mayor himself. Challenger Katjana Ballantyne wants to give the residents more of a voice and is a big advocate for mixed-use development, but her obliqueness on many of the issues does not give voters, or us, a real sense of how she will represent the ward.