First Ever Candidate Forum Awards

How come the town could livestream the Candidate Forum but they can’t livestream the Board Meetings? And from Parachute’s website? What’s that about?

Funny how last year Tod offered to set it up so the town’s own website could broadcast livestream. But Betsy Suerth told him he was not trustworthy. At least he was able to watch the Candidate Forum while in New York – via Parachute.  Bizarre.

Citizens of Silt showed up in droves at Wednesday night’s Candidate Forum. It was exciting to see so many people. I can’t recall a town election with so many candidates.

Things got off to a bumpy start when Kelly Thornton withdrew his candidacy for Trustee. I didn’t even know he was running. He gave a little speech. Must be like a speechification virus going around. I didn’t object to what he said about the need for change. Except that I myself would have loved to make a speech. If I had only known that all I needed to do was run for office, then withdraw. Dang it all. Missed my chance.

Anyway, the actual Trustee candidates are: Rick Aluise, Bryan Fleming, Paul Taylor, Mark Rinehart, Bob Shivly, and Bobby Hays. Mayoral candidates are Dave Moore and Meredith Robinson.

Since we are in the midst of the entertainment industry’s award season, I have some awards of my own for best performances at the Candidate Forum.

Smartest candidate: Rick Aluise
As previous Town Manager and now businessman in Silt, Rick holds a command of the issues that towered over all the other candidates. He should be running for Mayor. But that would just be a re-run of 08. Instead he has shown that he can leave the past behind and work with Mayor Dave to solve problems. Rick knows how to balance the town budget. He’s done it before and he will make it happen again. We are fortunate to have a candidate of Rick’s caliber running for Trustee.

Most experienced candidate: Paul Taylor
I was so glad when I heard Paul was running. With his 13 years on the Silt PD, Paul knows the mean streets of this town like nobody’s business. He possesses an even temper and dogged determination. Everyone has a Paul story. Years ago our Jeep was stolen when we let a potential buyer take it out for a test drive. Paul could have easily let us wallow in our stupidity but he tracked down our Jeep in Kansas and the perps went to jail. Impressive. Paul’s law enforcement perspective will strengthen the Board. We want Paul Taylor on that Board. We need Paul Taylor on that Board.

Most enthusiastic candidate: Bryan Fleming
What he lacked in command of the issues, he made up for with his enthusiasm. One word for Bryan – young. And he has kids. His demographic – young families – currently has no direct representation on the Board. Trust me when I say his voice and his enthusiasm are desperately needed. You want sidewalks to school? You want more recreation for kids? Then we need a young dad like Bryan who is eager to accomplish those things and has the time and energy to take them on.

Most passionate candidate: Mayor Dave
For all his faults – and there are many – Dave is passionate about Silt. He wants to beautify our town. I just wish he would quit implying that Silt is ugly. The beauty of Silt is its originality. Nothing like it anywhere else. But think of it this way, we can always keep him busy building planters and filling them with flowers. Seriously, Dave also deserves credit for leaving the past behind and working with his previous opponent to solve problems. Tod and I are willing to support him this time around – even after so vigorously opposing him 2 years ago. I hope voters will take that into consideration.

Meredith Robinson made it clear that she is satisfied with the status quo. She thinks we need to address the budget deficit by bringing in more economic development. To accomplish that she wants to update the town code and streamline the application process. She thinks there’s too much review. But speeding up the process too much could mean that environmental issues or public concerns get overlooked. And her plan also begs the question. If developments that have already been approved aren’t even happening, what makes her think there are skads of developers out there just waiting for a streamlined application process to locate in Silt? Doesn’t make much sense. Neither does Meredith.

Mark Rinehart struck me as a nice guy. I like the Community Garden project he spearheaded last year. However he shares Meredith’s view of updating and streamlining, which simply does not address the current budget deficit. He also expressed satisfaction with the status quo. But if we don’t make some drastic changes this year, the budget crisis will only worsen.

Bob Shivly seemed like another nice enough guy. The problem for me was that he answered each question with a personal reference. We have had far too many Board members lately who make decisions based on their own personal feelings (Nicky Leigh), rather than what’s best for the town. 

Bobby Hays. Two words. Define normal. It has taken me this long to recover my self esteem after losing to him in the last election. In his own words, this is quintessential Bobby: Asking the town of Silt for forgiveness

Dumbest question: What is your opinion to add two non-voting members from outside of the city limits to be elected to the Board of Trustees?

What? No! Next question.

Instead we wasted 20 minutes listening to 8 different versions of “What? No!” elaborated on for 2 minutes each. Excruciating.

If you live outside city limits and would like to get involved in town government, then you should move to town and put up with all the crap we have to put up with.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m very grateful to the Silt Chamber of Commerce and Cheryl Chandler and Ramona Jaeger, who refereed the forum. But 3 hours? Too damn long. Here’s a suggestion. More comfortable chairs in the town hall. My butt still hurts.

There were too many prepared questions. They could have edited those 8 questions down to 4 questions. The forum should have ended at 8:00, which was when a lot of people left. Too bad. That’s when it really got good. Like questions from the audience about pot shops and adult entertainment. Must see TV for Silt voters.

The Candidate Forum will be replayed on the cable access channel. Or you can request a DVD for $5.00 at the town hall.

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2 Comments on “First Ever Candidate Forum Awards”

  1. Lyn Hailey Says:

    It was a great forum! Bobby the apologizer for stalking was in rare form! And what was his last comment all about?? I’m not sure even he knew. The others are ANGRY, he said. Maybe they’re just angry he’s still on the board when he’s a loon.

  2. Dave Moore Says:

    Thanks Peggy and Todd for your support. Yes I wholeheartly support Rick Aluise.

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