Four years ago, voters in Babylon Town were presented with a lamentable choice for supervisor: an incumbent who on good government grounds should not be running for the position, and a challenger who is not capable of properly filling it.

Another election cycle has arrived and nothing has changed. That's unfortunate.

The incumbent, Rich Schaffer, also is chairman of the Suffolk County Democratic Party. Once upon a time, he did the right thing when he stepped down from his previous stint as Babylon supervisor upon becoming county chair. But when his successor as supervisor, Steve Bellone, was elected county executive in 2011, Schaffer decided to return as supervisor — but did not abandon his party position.

That's a no-no. Governance should be kept separate from politics, and while we're not naive regarding the difficulty of doing that under normal circumstances, it's downright impossible when the same person sits in the positions held by Schaffer. There are too many conflicts of interest to negotiate even for the best-intentioned leaders, and Schaffer has not been that. Witness the sordid deal-making that has at times made bedfellows of the Democratic and Conservative parties and turned elections into coronations because cross-endorsement deals engineered by Schaffer have left voters with no real choices.

Schaffer, 57, of Babylon, has successes he could tout, like ongoing redevelopments in Wyandanch and Copiague and a plan to redevelop the old Republic Aviation site in East Farmingdale. But the ethical issues disqualify him.

His opponent again is Republican Dan Martin, 71, an accountant from North Babylon. Martin is laser-focused on town finances and makes good points about the town's use of a connected subcontractor to provide dozens of nonunion workers to the town. But some of his charges are questionable, and too often his evidence consists of "I hear that …" and "Someone told me that …"

Martin also is opposed to smart redevelopment and has an extremely limited view of the role of town government — maintain parks, plow snow, pick up garbage. He lacks the vision needed to run a town.

As was the case four years ago, Newsday declines to make an endorsement in this race.