Greg Caiola, someone who served in township government for a few years as a Democrat and who tirelessly gave of himself on behalf of our community.
I guess it’s possible to compile a list of projects and initiatives that Greg was involved in on behalf of LMT folk, but I can assure you that it would be a lengthy one and there probably would be an accidental omission or two. Speaking only for myself, I first met Greg when he came to Le Manse Doomsy with Ron Smith a few years back when they both ran for LMT supervisors (they won). Afterwards, I ran into Greg a couple of times while working a phone bank or I was involved with some type of “get out the vote” effort (not blowing my own horn by any means – many others work harder at that than I do, and I’ll try to “step it up”).
I should probably give you a bit of background on what has happened in our township over, say, the last 15 years or so. We used to have a completely-Republican-dominated board of supervisors run by a guy named Wes Hackman, who, as nearly as I could tell, was pretty much a rubber stamp for any development project that came his way. One such project was the Octagon Center by Matrix Development Corporation, a proposed big-box retail complex that would have decimated our community (I can already hear the “Lower Makefield snobs” snickering…at least WE didn’t just roll over for the latest Home Depot, Regal Cinema, Target scheme, all of which we have right down the street anyway). The movement that sprang up in response, I believe, ushered in an all-too-brief period of “good government” in our township, some of which is noted here in a post where Greg provided the details, a period that helped elect Greg, Ron Smith, and Steve Santarsiero to the LMT Board of Supervisors also.
(And by the way, I hasten to add that this “movement” also included some Republicans who worked tirelessly against the Matrix project. I’m not going to go all squishy and tell you that I have common cause, so to speak, with these people, but only a fool would argue that they don’t cherish this community also.)
And speaking of which, Steve (among others) has pointed out that Greg definitely reached “across the aisle” to the other side when he was a supervisor and working in other capacities for the township. You have to do that to get things done around here (and again, there are actually some Republicans you can work with, though that number is shrinking).
Greg’s passing, though, is much more than a loss to our civic life, of course. It is no doubt a crushing blow to his family and friends, who have our deepest sympathies at this time.
And I don’t know if this clip of Jeff Daniels as newsman Will McAvoy is the best tribute to Greg, even though it should be required viewing as far as I’m concerned, but I thought of Greg when Will summed up at the very end (the spirit of how we could be better as a people, I mean - clip is NSFW)…
…and I kept trying to think of a song for this sad occasion, and this is all that came to mind – can’t think of one that’s better.