Written By Mason Carey
On Tuesday, November 5th, 2019, the town of Clinton elected English Teacher Eric Bergman to the town government to take a two-year term on the newly-established Town Council.
According to Mr. Bergman, he did not run for a position on the Town Council because he sought power, he ran to get the values and principles of his party, the Green Party, across. He finds the two-party system very limiting, restrictive and damaging to our town, with many disagreements made solely from party loyalties. He also did it to make a statement; as a member of a smaller political party, having success in a small and local government can still make an impact.
His main priority is to get a Town Manager, whose role is to work on contracts, write grants, and to make final decisions. His second priority is to work with his other colleagues that were elected to the Town Council with him.
Mr. Bergman has many values he loves about the Town of Clinton. He likes the location the most, being right between Boston and New York City, with also having a train system and a body of water right nearby. He finds the Town of Clinton beautiful, and he also likes the working-class mentality that shows in Clinton.
Mr. Bergman thinks the move to the Town Council from the Board of Selectman system is long overdue. He looks at other towns which have town managers, and sees them thriving, while towns like ours, were plagued with fighting, which would hurt progress and damage our town. He said that a lot of people in this town want the same things: “Clean water, clean school, good government, but for some reason we can’t get there.”
He balances his work here at Morgan and his work on the Town Council very well. The Town Council meets every other week, and he also does outside research, but he sees it as a hobby. He learns many things about other towns, zoning, and leadership. He adds that all elected officials aren’t experts. There is a learning curve. He said that he will always act in the interest of the people.
Mr. Bergman brought up some challenges to being in the Town Council. For example: How does he go into this experience as the only member of the Green Party? How do I build relationships with my colleagues? How do I do what id best for the town, but also have to entertain some proposals that I may not agree with fully?
He also feels pressure from the public eye. Every meeting is filmed. There are videos of everything he says at the meeting. He feels as if he is a competent representative of the public’s concerns. He understands that your last name is everything. He recognizes that his actions could affect his entire family, but he also ran because of his children, to show them to do the right thing and get involved.
Morgan PawPrint wishes Mr. Bergman good luck during his two-year term on the Town of Clinton’s Town Council.