Asking for the county’s vote

To the Editor:

Normally, I would wait to write a letter like this until closer to the Democratic primary on Sept. 1. But this year, Election Day is coming a lot sooner for those wisely choosing to vote early by mail because of this horrible pandemic. So, my name is Keith Chatinover, and I’m asking for your vote.

When I first ran for the Dukes County Commission as an 18-year-old newcomer, I made a lot of promises.

I made it my mission to hear from everybody, even if that meant an annual journey to the state’s smallest and most remote town. I promised that even though I would be going to college soon after I was sworn in, I would be at a majority of meetings in person, and would remotely participate in all of the others. I have done that, with a perfect attendance record at county meetings. And I pledged to listen, while also making my progressive voice heard.

Serving as an elected official has certainly been a learning experience, with the expected ups and downs along the way, and I’ve had my fair share of missteps in these two years. But I believe I’ve shown that I keep my commitments, and will continue to do so.

Why do I say this? Because we’ve vastly improved our communication with Island residents, creating a social media presence, and finally updating our once-archaic website, fulfilling two key campaign pledges of mine. Because as I said we would, we’ve greatly increased civic participation and government transparency, with an unprecedented number of applications for county appointments as just one example.

And because recently, we’ve worked hard alongside our outstanding county manager, Martina Thornton, to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, tightening our own belt to ease the considerable financial strain felt by our residents. We’ve striven to lead the Island’s response, supporting mandatory mask orders in all of the Island’s downtowns, and representing the Island on regionwide guidance to visitors from our state legislators.

If I win a second term on the county commission, I would concentrate first and foremost on the recovery from this pandemic and the ensuing economic hardship. This Island’s social services will never, ever, be more important than during the upcoming years. Know that I’ll always be on the side of this Island’s most vulnerable, and will continue to support their needs.

I can also assure you that I’ll fight for what I’ve always fought for: acting in an Island-wide manner to reduce the Island’s government bureaucracy, saving taxpayer money and lowering costs for all. Our homelessness affliction, affordable housing and climate crises, and myriad other issues, simply don’t see town borders. That’s why I’ve made it my mission to view these problems as Island-wide problems, and their only feasible solutions as Island-wide solutions.

You and I might not agree on everything. But know that I care deeply about our community and that I have worked hard to make it a better place for us to both call home. That’s my only goal, even if we might not always see eye-to-eye on how to get there.

I hope to earn your vote on or before Sept. 1. Whether you’re planning on filling in the circle next to my name or not, please make your voice heard, either by mail or in person. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you for these past two years. I hope you’ll give me the chance to serve again.

Keith Chatinover
Dukes County commissioner