Atsalis and Turner for Barnstable 1st and 2nd State Representatives
Demetrius: from a Young Turk to a Seasoned Solon
Demetrius Atsalis (D-Barnstable) has served his district which includes most of Barnstable and part of Yarmouth diligently for the past 12 years. He is now considered the Dean of the Cape Cod Delegation for his length of service in the Legislature. In that time he has gone from a young turk to a seasoned solon.
He has learned how to navigate the halls of the Statehouse as well as the ins and outs of the budget process. He has affixed his name not to major legislation, but to lesser bills that matter in important ways to ordinary citizens. He is however, best known for delivering the bacon; funding for projects that are critical to the quality of life in his district, like community policing and the new youth center in Hyannis.
A conservative Democrat, Atsalis has consistently fended off more strident ideological opposition by practicing a pragmatic approach to his job; vote with majority, but not when the measure does not benefit his constituents.
Atsalis should return for another term to add to his record of accomplishments.
Where Atsalis brings energy to the job, Cleon Turner brings a steady hand
Cleon Turner has not served as long, but he brought experience with him. He was a Selectman in the Town of Dennis for many years prior to his tenure in the Legislature. He understands and dwells in the minutia of budgets and legislation that affect municipalities. He brings a lawyer’s knowledge and seasoned public servant’s sensibility to each issue. He evaluates bills on the merits not the politics. Often, he is voting not with the majority.
He has not concentrated on individual projects for the district, but rather looks to the larger picture to identify and rectify fiscal problems, like local aid inequities. He creates the caucus and consensus around an issue to give him the leverage to fix the problem, like the legislation he sponsored to help all regional school districts pay for transportation, including DY.
How does Turner, a moderate Democrat keep getting elected in a relatively conservative district? Just like getting to Carnegie Hall; practice!
Each time he has been re-elected, he has added to his margin of victory by reminding voters that solid Democratic values are not mutually exclusive from pocketbook issues.
He does not resort to sloganeering to get elected. He’s a “just the facts, ma’am” kind of guy. Turner is just what the towns of Dennis, Yarmouth, Brewster need in this time of fiscal crisis.