“Rollins spends six times more than Dowling in Augusta mayor’s race” read the headline in the Dec. 19 Kennebec Journal. In my view, Rollins also worked roughly 20 times as harder to achieve his well-deserved seat. I know. I was there. I was also a paid contributor.

Spending didn’t win this contest. Knocking on doors and putting forth the notion that he actually cared, did. Oh, and projecting a ebullient, positive tone that voters embraced, also ensured Rollins’ successful campaign.

Early on, I was one of a few summoned to evaluate the initial campaign thrust. I was perplexed at a preposterous notion being espoused of “going negative” as some sort of meaningful strategy. Irrelevant, unnecessary nonsense. I offered my critique, and rose to graciously depart. But Rollins put his hand on my shoulder and sat me back down. “Stick around,” sez he.

Subsequently, the Rollins’ team crafted a campaign that was positive and uplifting. Signs simply read: “DAVE!” and “The Next Big Thing.” We ran ads in this newspaper that were buoyant and informative, and in a quirky manner that apparently resonated. We were proud of our campaign message that spoke to the intelligence of the voters.

In the New Year, it’ll be my pleasure to work with my friend the mayor, whose zeal for campaigning is surpassed only by his unbridled passion for Augusta. In spite of the frustrating financial constraints that all Maine municipalities are forced to endure today, there are nonetheless imaginative and positive ways to get things done.

I’ve no doubt that Mayor Rollins, working with the council, city manager and city staff in 2015, will find ’em.

So bring on the New Year — and The Next Big Thing.

Buddy Doyle

Gardiner

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