It's sort of like being governor or county head with the responsibilities of a mayor, like garbage disposal, roads, education and more. I couldn't find a map of Mateh Binyamin, but if you look at this map, you can get an idea. It's directly north of Jerusalem and includes the area including Dolev, Ramalla which is next to Beit El, Ofra and to the east of it and Shiloh and a bit further north where Eli is. It's a large district, and the roads don't connect the different communities. Administering, governing, the area isn't easy, and there are only two candidates for the position.
A couple of months ago, when I heard who the two candidates were, I felt that there was no choice, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. One, Adi Mintz, was tainted by his association with Moetzet YESHA and the other, Avi Ro'eh, I saw as an "establishment figure" from the present administration. And you guessed it, I'm not enamoured with the way that the council is being run any more than I respect Moetzet YESHA.
During Succot, Adi Mintz came to Shiloh, and I went to hear him and, yes, ask questions. Somethings he said were good, and others did not satisfy me at all. He claimed that "it's not the same Moetzet YESHA; there are new people on it." I think that the old ones, the ones who totally failed in the struggle against Disengagement should apologize and resign. He couldn't imagine why. Yes, that is politics and not garbage collection, but to me it's about personal judgement and taking responsibility. There were other things which impressed me, but I didn't think it right to make a decision without meeting the other candidate.
Actually, I had "met" Avi Ro'eh before, but the circumstances were very different. I had taught English to one of his sons the year his first wife was killed, when an Arab driver rammed into her car. I went to their home to pay a shiva, condolence, call.
Last night he came to Shiloh, so I decided that the time had come to find out what he had to offer us. All I knew was that he's the assistant head of the regional council, and I took for granted that it meant that he was in favor of the status quo.
I didn't bother getting up from my seat to take the pictures, so it looks like the room was emptier than it actually was. And I didn't photograph the women sitting near me. There were many more people there than who came to hear Adi Mintz, but it wasn't Holiday time, and many were confirmed supporters, not curious like me.
Avi surprised me by starting off by saying how differently he'd be running things. That was good, and I demanded details, since I knew absolutely nothing about his way of doing things. Yes, I was impressed.
His plans for public transportation are similar to my own. Avi definitely knows what's going on in the region and is involved in important projects, projects I support.
How can we make intelligent, informed, wise decisions about whom to vote for without checking out the candidates?
Yes, I do think that Avi Ro'eh will do a better job than Adi Mintz.