The Vestry of St. Bartholomew’s Church in the City of New York is the legal, canonical, and fiduciary “board of trustees” for the church.
The Rector is chairman of the Vestry. Wardens, elected for up to three consecutive two-year terms, are the lay chairs of the Vestry, and have canonical authority for the parish when the rectorship is vacant. Members are elected for up to two consecutive three-year terms. Governed by national and diocesan canon law, New York State Religious Corporation law, and our own by-laws, the Vestry leads the parish in setting policies and goals, maintaining the buildings, and raising financial support for the mission of the parish.
John Gilliland, Warden
John has been a member of St. Bart’s since 2002, drawn by the radical welcome, excellent preaching and beautiful music. He attends services regularly and is excited to continue to serve with Bishop Wolfe, his Co-Warden Liza Page Nelson and the Staff and Vestry of St. Bart’s. “I believe that everything I have comes from God, and I appreciate the opportunity to serve.“
John has served twice on the St. Bart’s Vestry, holding a variety of positions, including Chair of the Investment Committee and Finance Committee. As a current Co-Warden, John is involved in most aspects of the church’s activities. John also represented St. Bart’s as a Trustee of the Diocesan Investment Trust; he also served as chair of the Trust’s Audit Committee.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, John has been an executive at Citigroup for thirty-six years and currently serves as Head of Global Risk Review. John has served on the Boards of several non-profit organizations in the greater New York area and is involved in his family’s business activities in Texas.
John currently resides in Manhattan with Brooklyn, his four-year-old poodle. John enjoys spending free time at his Dutchess County farm upstate, and actively grows organic herbs, vegetables and fruit. He also keeps bees, sometimes with competition from local bears.
Miriam began attending St. Bartholomew's in 1982, soon after moving from her home state of Idaho to New York City and beginning work at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. She joined the Community Club and began attending weekday services shortly thereafter, formally becoming a Church member in 1985. Her and her late husband Howard’s marriage was blessed by the Rev. Judith Baumer in 1989. Their twin daughters were baptized by the Rev. Bruce Forbes in 1996. Paula and Helene attended St. Bartholomew's preschool, and were Choristers for 10 years.
Miriam worked in banking as an analyst for the forest products sector for almost 20 years. Now retired from JP Morgan Chase, she is the Senior Managing Partner for Kunkel Farm, LLC, the family's Idaho farm business, which produces mainly barley (for Coors) or alfalfa and occasionally feed corn for the local dairy industry. She is the founder and CEO of Manhattan Multiple Birth Parenting, Inc., an organization providing networking and educational support for parents of twins and other multiples. From 2001 through 2010 she was a parent leader in the New York City Public School System, holding various PTA executive board positions, and was Co-President of NYC’s Presidents Council for District 2, representing the interests of all public-school parents within the District. Miriam served as a parent representative on the Dominican Academy Accreditation Committee in 2013-2014. She is currently a member of the College of Idaho’s National Alumni Board, and just finished her term as President of her co-op board.
As a volunteer at St. Bartholomew’s Miriam has sung in the 9am choir and served as an acolyte and torch bearer at 11am. She has been a member of St. Bartholomew's Altar Guild since 1985, and its president for more than 25 years. She attended DOCC and Alpha courses. While Paula and Helene were in high school, the three of them acted as dinner hosts most Saturday nights, for a dinner cooked by Miriam, at the Crossroad's women's shelter. She regularly read Evening Prayer in the Chapel before the pandemic and continues now with Night Prayer online.
Miriam and the girls share their Upper East Side home with four cats and a dog. Paula and Helene are now in graduate school. They have helped broaden her empathy and interest in social justice and LGBTQ+ causes. She has catholic tastes in a wide range of interests and activities, and considers her intelligence and abilities practical in nature, and personally satisfying. She loves to get in her car and drive. The destination is not as important as the journey!
With Catherine Belford Budd stepping down as one of our Wardens, the Rector and Warden John Gilliland, have nominated Miriam Schneider to fulfill Catherine’s unexpired term. The Governance Committee and the Vestry have confirmed her nomination by electing her.
Miriam and the girls share their Upper East Side home with four cats and a dog. Paula and Helene are now in graduate school and have helped broaden her empathy and interest in social justice and LGBTQ+ causes. Miriam loves to get in her car and drive. The destination is not as important as the journey!
To serve as Warden to a parish like ours requires extraordinary skills and deep dedication. Some of the most remarkable members of our parish have served in this important role and we are so pleased Miriam has said yes to this high calling. Please join us in welcoming Miriam as our newest Warden. May the Lord continue to richly bless her life and her ministry in our midst!
Christina Brandt-Young became a member of St. Bart’s in 2006 with her husband, Jeremy. They began attending in 2005 after hearing about its impeccable worship music, and stayed because of St. Bart’s radical welcome and engagement with the world.
Christina is a civil rights attorney in New York City and has worked for Disability Rights Advocates, Legal Momentum, the American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project, and the New York Legal Assistance Group. She is a board member and overnight shelter volunteer of Crossroads Community Services, and also volunteers with United Rescue in Jersey City.
Christina usually attends the 11:00 service. She officiates at Evening Prayer on Fridays and at Morning Prayer on Saturdays. This led to the formation of the Laundry League, a group of St. Bartians that washes liturgical vestments throughout the year. She has served as a Stewardship Co-Chair since 2016, and she served on the Centennial Committee in 2018.
Christina and Jeremy live in Jersey City with their retired racing greyhound. They both play the viola da gamba with the Teares of the Muses, an early music ensemble housed at New York University.
Kathleen has been a member of St. Bart’s since 1996. St. Bart’s became her favorite place to go for the noon Eucharist in the midst of long work days at a large bank nearby. Worship in midday brought welcome calm and renewed energy.
Kathleen is a CPA/MBA and worked for Arthur Andersen & Co., becoming one of the first professional women to have a baby and return to work. After interesting “glass ceiling experiences” and the birth of her second child, she decided to work in banking and became the Financial Controller of the Private Bank in two different global banks where she was promoted to Senior Vice President and then Managing Director. Kathleen now works part time as a consultant to a family office.
At St. Bart’s Kathleen served as the co-chair of the 2006 Annual (Stewardship) Fund and was elected to the Vestry in 2007. She served as the Treasurer of St. Bart’s for 5 years and was a member of the Planning and Budget Committee. Kathleen has also hosted a St. Bart’s at Home group, graduated from the 4-year Education for Ministry course, and was a member of the Rector Search Committee that called Bishop Wolfe. Kathleen returned to Vestry service in 2018 and is currently Chair of the Audit Committee. She also hosts a St. Bart’s Connects group on Zoom, is a lay eucharistic minister, leads Centering Prayer several times a week, and tutored pre-pandemic in Harlem with the Episcopal Peace Fellowship group. In addition, Kathleen is on the Board of Directors of Crossroads Community Services, Inc., and has recently concluded her term as its Treasurer.
Kathleen lives on the West Side where she enjoys great views of the sunsets. She has a daughter who lives with her husband and Newfoundland dog near Philadelphia and a son and three grandchildren who live in Cumberland, Maryland. She enjoys gardening, hiking and cooking at her lake house in northern New Jersey.
Christian is a native Virginian and a graduate of the University of Virginia, and he has been a long-time resident of Riverdale, the Bronx, where he served on the board of his co-op association for a number of years.
After a period of intense church shopping, he officially joined the St. Bart’s family in 2002. He was most attracted to the St Bart’s community for their genuine and sincere approach to living a life in Christ. Christian first served as an usher when he was an eighth grader in Richmond, VA at St. Stephen’s Church where his father and grandfather had served on the Vestry. So it should come as no surprise that within minutes after receiving his yellow boutonniere, he was signed up to serve as an usher at St. Bart’s, as well as a Table Leader for Life @ St. Bart’s. Since that time, his focus has been to perpetuate our Radical Welcome.
In 2007 Christian was elected to the Parish Council, where his main assignment was to form the Welcome Committee, which is still flourishing under its current leadership. From 2008 to 2009, he served as Co-Chair of the Membership Development Committee of the Parish Life Project. In 2009 he was asked to Chair our Greeters’ & Ushers’ Ministry, and he continues to lead this talented and devoted corps of parishioners.
During Christian’s first two years on St. Bart’s Vestry he was Chair of the Compensation Committee and a member of the Nominating Committee. More recently he has become a member of the Properties Committee, the Creation Care Task Force and the Parish Life Committee.
Professionally, Christian is a product development manager with home textiles manufacturer WestPoint Home LLC.
He is currently serving as a trustee of The Church Club of New York and encourages other St. Bartians to consider involvement with this very worthwhile organization.
Outside of church and work, Christian is a board member and former Chief Steward of the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York and, he serves on the NYC Alumni Board of Woodberry Forest School. He is also a dedicated member of The Society of the Cincinnati, and the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Approximately 13 years ago David decided he wanted to have a spiritual center—a Church Home—in his life. He had been raised Baptist in the 1950s in Indiana, and church had played a central role in his life. But it had been years since he had attended services, and he was missing the music, the uplift and the community. David decided he’d look for a “place” to worship, and chose St. Bart’s as his first stop. He’d never been inside, but the architecture, the reputations of its Theatre Troupe and its music program, had interested him for years, so he came to a 9 am Sunday service. He never left, or looked for another “place”. He had his home and was confirmed here in 2011.
David has had a 40+ year career in New York theatre as an actor and director. He’s served on the boards of off-off theatres and as a box office treasurer on- and off-Broadway. He’s developed a “niche” working closely with actors, playwrights, and composers developing new works, particularly solo performance pieces. He’s also spent over 30 years as a bookkeeper for medical practices, travel companies, etc. During the 80’s and 90’s he spent over 10 years as a volunteer with GMHC, and helped create its Speakers Bureau within its educational programing.
At St. Bart’s, David gained his footing attending the Explore classes and completed the 4-year Education for Ministry program. He now serves as a lector, a lay eucharistic minister, and verger for worship services; and as a Eucharistic visitor, taking communion to our parishioners who are unable to join us for services (pre-pandemic). He has been a regular at the Wednesday Bible Study for almost a decade.
Since 1977, David has lived in Manhattan Plaza on the western edge of the Theatre District. His husband, Barry, is a “Broadway legend,” having been a Star Dresser for more than 25 years. They have been together for 37 years and married for the last 8. He can’t cook, but Barry sure can. They are TV addicts and have a wonderful family of friends with whom they have traveled to Europe, South Africa, and around the United States.
Rachel first found her way to St. Bart’s through the choir. In 2008, only a few weeks after moving to New York from Lexington, KY, she auditioned for Bill Trafka who invited her to sing the Duruflé Requiem in the church’s annual September 11th Remembrance Service. She has remained a devoted member of Saint Bartholomew’s Choir ever since. Rachel was confirmed in the Methodist church as a teenager, but had for many years worked and worshipped in the Episcopal church. So in 2012, she made it official and was received into the Episcopal communion as a member of St. Bart’s.
Rachel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the University of Kentucky. In New York, she has carved out a career for herself as both a singer and an actor in film and television. She can be seen in Hulu’s miniseries The Looming Tower and the forthcoming second season of Showtime’s City on a Hill. Rachel is a proud and active member of SAG-AFTRA, where she has developed a strong interest in entertainment contracts. Outside of work, she loves to follow politics and volunteered for Amy McGrath’s 2018 congressional campaign.
Rachel is active in parish life both in and outside the choir. She jumps at every opportunity to support the chorister program, whether it’s helping out with rehearsals or chaperoning summer camp. She served on the hiring committee to fill the position of Associate Organist and Director of Choristers in 2014. For several years, Rachel served as an overnight host for Crossroads Community Services, Inc., women’s shelter. She co-chairs the 20’s-30’s group through which she helped organize and host the annual Episcopal Diocese of New York Young Adult Christmas Party, attended by more than 120 young Episcopalians from around the city. Last year, she joined a St. Bart’s Connects group and is enjoying meeting by Zoom.
Rachel lives in Harlem with her husband, Graham and their two dogs, Sophie and Jean. Together they love taking on home renovation projects at both their apartment in the city and their vacation house in the Catskills. Rachel can hardly wait for the pandemic to end in part so she can return to her favorite pastimes—dressing up, dining out, traveling, and karaoke in K-town.
Jamie and his wife, Flora, started attending St. Bart’s in 2014 soon after they moved to New York City. They regularly attend the 11 am service. Jamie is a native New Yorker, and the eldest of four siblings. He was raised Roman Catholic and attended Jesuit schools for high school (Gonzaga, Wash DC), college (Xavier University, Cincinnati), and medical school (Georgetown University). He was received into the Episcopal Church at St Bart’s in May 2015.
As a physician, Jamie specialized in both pediatric and adult oncology with a special focus on bone marrow transplantation, a complex form of immunotherapy used to treat aggressive leukemias and lymphomas, and he currently serves as the Ward-Coleman Chair of Cancer Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Physicians who have trained in his laboratory, first at Harvard and then at the University of Michigan, are now transplant leaders throughout the USA, Germany, and Japan. He has received a number of prestigious awards for his research and is regularly featured as a keynote speaker at international medical conferences.
Jamie served on the most recent Rector Search Committee, where he represented new parishioners. Together with Peter de Menocal he has spoken at the Forum on faith and science. He has also volunteered for several Fair Share Fridays.
Jamie and Flora live on the Upper East Side. Their eldest son, Andrew, lives in Durham, England, and their two younger sons, David and Michael, live in New York City. Jamie is an opera enthusiast and sings in the bass section of the New York Choral Society.
Bill and his wife Lee Anne moved to New York from Nashville in late 2012. As lifelong Episcopalians (and Bill’s father an Episcopal priest), they spent over a year shopping for churches. After visiting more than ten Episcopal churches all over the city, many on multiple Sundays, they decided on St. Bart’s due to the warm welcome and Buddy Stallings’ sermons. In deciding on St. Bart’s, Bill said, “This was an important decision to us and we took it seriously. We were looking for a church home, not merely a place to worship, and we found that in St. Bart’s.”
Bell and and Lee Anne have lived in numerous cities on the east coast and in the south. Bill has served on vestries leading stewardship for Episcopal churches in Georgia and Tennessee ; and is honored to receive this nomination at St. Bart’s. Additionally, Bill served as a Big Brother for many years and as a Director of Boys and Girls Club of Nashville.
Bill grew up in Memphis, TN, graduating from Ole Miss. He served as a Naval Officer first on USS Bowen (FF 1079) and then in the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program in Washington DC; where Bill and Lee Anne met. Bill received an MBA from Harvard Business School and then embarked upon a career as a senior executive. Bill served as CEO of various companies including Bell Sports, Riddell and Oreck Corporation. In 2010, Bill joined American Securities, a private equity fund based in New York, where he serves as a partner focusing on portfolio company improvement. In addition to serving on various American Securities’ company Boards, Bill serves on the Board of Directors for Trek Bikes and for the Ole Miss Business School.
While at St. Bart’s, Bill and Lee Anne have become members of the Mosaic Society, and in May of 2019 they went on the St. Bart’s Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, a journey which impacted both their faith and commitment to St. Bart’s. Bill and Lee Anne recently signed up for Bart’s Connects! and are excited about that new effort.
Bill and Lee Anne have two children, a daughter in NYC and a son in Chicago. They live in Chelsea and also have a home in Oxford, MS. While in New York, Bill and Lee Anne enjoy Broadway shows, concerts and excitement the city has to offer.
Robert Gutheil and his wife, Karen (who serves as a Lay Eucharist Minister), have been members of St. Bart’s since 1996. They were drawn by the church’s radical welcome, the vigor and intelligence of Bill Tully’s preaching, the high liturgical standards, and the physical beauty of the sanctuary. Those same high standards, plus now an enduring network of close friends in the parish, keep them very committed here.
Robert recently retired after a forty-plus year career in chief executive positions in the human services field in New York City. He served as Executive Director of Episcopal Social Services (now Sheltering Arms) until retirement, following similar positions at The Salvation Army and Lutheran Social Services. The New York City Council issued a special proclamation in 2010 honoring him for a lifetime of service to the city. Other awards include the National Award for Excellence in Social Work from The Salvation Army, the Champions for Children Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center for Children’s Initiatives, the Leadership Award from Life Services for the Handicapped, and the Unsung Heroes from the Day Care Council of New York. He holds graduate degrees from Columbia University and Concordia Seminary. Currently he serves on several charitable boards—FPWA (Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies), ACT for Life Services, and the Day Care Council of New York. Earlier positions included the Vestry of St. Thomas Church and the boards of Episcopal Charities, the Church Club of New York, and West End Residences for the Homeless.
Robert served as member of the Rector Search Committee that called Bishop Wolfe. He is also a long-time usher, two-term member of the Vestry, and has served on various committees and as parish Treasurer. He was the first chair of the Advisory Board for the Center for Religious Inquiry, working closely with Rabbi Leonard Schoolman in those initial years.
Robert was born and raised in New York City. He and Karen have three children and six grandchildren. They live in Manhattan and take as full advantage as possible of the city’s cultural life—opera, theater, concerts, museums and more.
Astrid Horan was married at St. Bart’s in 1981 by the Reverend Tom Bowers, whom her husband Hubert knew from Atlanta. St. Bart’s was also their neighborhood church and where Astrid was confirmed as an Episcopalian.
Astrid Horan was born, raised and attended high school in Berlin, Germany. After attending the University of Colorado, she moved to New York City and worked as a confidential assistant to Governor Nelson Rockefeller who appointed her to the Permanent Commission on Pension and Retirement Systems to bring about public pension reform in the City and State of New York. After the Commission was abolished under Governor Mario Coumo, Astrid moved to Connecticut, but returned to the City after she was widowed.
Back at St. Bart’s, Astrid attends the weekly bible study, is in her third year in Education for Ministry (EfM) and is taking pastoral care training.
Astrid has served on the boards of Sheltering Arms Children‘s Services (NYC); Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (Waterford, CT); Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts (chairman); president of Joshuatown Association (Lyme, CT); University of New Haven Board of Governors, and is a member of the American Council on Germany.
Astrid enjoys city life with all it has to offer.
Patrick Hornbeck is honored to have been nominated for an initial three-year term of service on the Vestry. He first came to St. Bart’s in 2011, on the recommendation of one of his Fordham University faculty colleagues. Hearing one of former rector Buddy Stallings’s sermons, Patrick was hooked on the combination of warm welcome, intellectual engagement, and insistence that the church go out to meet the world in all its messiness and complexity.
At Fordham, Patrick serves as professor and chair of the Department of Theology and special faculty advisor to the provost for strategic planning. He is also a student for the J.D. degree at Fordham Law School, where he is focusing on the issues that arise from the intersection of law and religion. Patrick is author or editor of eight books on medieval and modern Christianity, the most recent of which is a study of the many afterlives of one of Tudor England’s villains, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. He comments regularly for the national and international media, and he served as Al Jazeera’s lead expert during the 2015 visit of Pope Francis to the United States.
Since making St. Bart’s his parish home, Patrick has presented regularly at the Forum and offered a series of adult education classes, covering topics ranging from the history of the English Reformation to the relationship between religion and politics in the contemporary U.S. He also served on the Rector Search Committee in 2015-2016.
Patrick’s husband, Patrick Bergquist, served St. Bart’s for many years as Minister for Children, Youth, and Families, and special assistant to the rector; he now works as director of programs at Episcopal Charities for the Diocese of New York. The Patricks were married at St. Bart’s in 2015, coincidentally the day after the Supreme Court recognized marriage equality nationwide. They live in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.
Mary Robin and her husband moved to New York City from Montgomery, Alabama, almost four years ago and began “church shopping” immediately, because she knew a solid church would help her feel more at home in New York City. In 2016 they found St. Bart’s and formally joined on Welcome Sunday that October. Mary Robin writes, “Being from the Deep South, I was pleased to find such a friendly church with an excellent outreach program, plus there seemed to be a fair number of Southerners here.”
Mary Robin began work as an eight year old filing cash tickets in one of her father’s hardware stores. She has had a wide variety of work experiences growing up working summers and Saturdays for her father’s other small businesses; this instilled in Mary Robin an ownership mentality, which she has carried with her in all endeavors. Mary Robin received her B.A. in Architecture from Auburn University and worked for eleven years with McAlpine. She has served on volunteer boards with Holy Cross Episcopal School (K-6) and Booker T. Washington High School F.A.M.E. board; St. John’s Episcopal Church Vestry (all in Montgomery, Alabama). Also at St. John’s, she graduated from EfM and served in several volunteer leadership capacities.
At St. Bart’s, Mary Robin is pleased to serve on the Usher and Stewardship Committees, and is a co-leader for Centering Prayer. She attended the EXPLORE class series and has also occasionally assisted with altar flowers and Christmas decorations, which she describes as “great fun!”
Mary Robin lives in Chelsea with her husband, Greg Tankersley. Their daughter, Sullivan Tankersley, a recent college graduate, resides in Dallas, TX. Mary Robin enjoys life long learning on the topics of functional spirituality, world history, investing, and traveling when at all possible.
Keith began attending St Bart’s in 2009, and because of its “Radical Welcome” became a member in the fall 2013. Growing up in Texas he attended a conservative evangelical church where he struggled with reconciling his church’s teachings with his sexual orientation. As a result, he stopped going to church for over 25 years. He says “St. Bart’s inclusive spirit opened my heart and helped me find a new spiritual home and regain my faith that had been missing for so many years.”
Keith grew up in Texas and has lived in NYC since 1991. He earned a BA in accounting from Southwestern University in Texas and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). He is currently President of the Weiler/Arnow family office and has more than 25 years’ experience in investment management and financial planning for multigenerational families. His prior experience includes Big Four tax work with high-net-worth individuals/families; serving as Director of Tax for Collier Enterprises; and serving as Vice President for the Norman/Weil families and for the Sulzberger family.
Keith gives time, talent and treasure to St. Bart’s. He has served on the Vestry since 2018 and currently serves on the Governance Committee and as Chair of the Finance Committee. He served as Stewardship Co-chair from 2015-2017. Keith also served as Trustee of the Episcopal Diocese of New York from 2018-2020 where he served on the Investment committee and as Chair of the Finance Committee. He also serves on the Investment committee of Auburn Seminary.
Keith loves to travel and learn about cultures and history, especially the commonalities of different religions.
Craig found St. Bart’s in 1987 via the Community Club, led then by our current Assistant Rector, the Reverend Canon Andrew Mullins. He began attending worship services in 1988 after an introduction then-Rector Tom Bowers and later headed and expanded the Ushers & Greeters Corps. He implemented the “radical” (and) welcome idea of having greeters stand outside the church. In 1991, he was received into the Episcopal Church from the Roman Catholic tradition. His two older children attended St. Bart’s Community Preschool. His daughter was in the first class of Choristers and his son served as an acolyte.
Craig is an independent consultant with 35 years of corporate experience and non-profit board service. He has worked at large financial institutions as First Boston, Lehman Brothers, and Sumitomo Bank; and been a change agent at a number of startup and small businesses. At Drexel Hamilton (a Wall Street firm owned and run by disabled veterans), he headed the corporate capital markets area. He successfully led the firm’s 3-year efforts to introduce and pass New York State’s first disabled-veteran-owned business-preference legislation that focused on professional services firms as a diverse supplier. Craig’s work directly with state legislators resulted in the unanimous passage of bills in both the NYS House and Senate, and legislation passed by Governor Cuomo. He mentored over 20 combat-disabled veterans at the firm and introduced additional race and gender related diversity initiatives. Non-profits including One Hundred Black Men (OHBM), Inc., John Jay College Corporate Veterans initiative, and Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America have benefited from Craig’s efforts.
In the 1990’s Craig served St. Bart’s on the Preschool Advisory Board, as chair of the Search Committee that called the Reverend Bill Tully as Rector, and chaired the Stewardship Campaign. He was elected by the parish to the first of two terms on the Vestry in 1994 where he led the newly formed New Ventures Committee that developed Café St. Bart’s and the Bookstore. In recent years, pre-pandemic, Craig attended the 11am service with three toddler children. He now participates via YouTube or by hosting Facebook watch parties.
Craig is a native of Philadelphia and graduate of Amherst College where he majored in Asian Studies became fluent in Japanese. He lives in Astoria with his soulmate Tina and their three small children who are currently remote schooling. He enjoys technology, biking, cooking, traveling, and public policy advocacy. He is also actively engaged local politics.