The Campaign Continues......
Silver Grove Neighborhood Association hosted a "Meet the Candidates" forum last evening at which Republican mayoral hopeful Randy Hubbard, 4th District runner David Abersold, and 5th district nominee Dick Bliss spoke and answered questions from those present.
Turnout was light but that did lend itself to an open discussion atmosphere among those present probably moreso than would have been the case with a crowded room.
The biggest disappointment was the absence of the press. They'd been invited but failed to make an appearance. Once again, our "local newspaper" appears to care less.
All three speakers were enthusiastic and hopeful about New Albany's future under their tenure if elected but spoke in general terms on how to accomplish the tasks ahead.
Randy Hubbard sited his experience in law enforcement in both the city and county venues. He pledged to maintain an open door policy, find the best person for the particular job for his administrative positions, and fire them on the spot if they failed to perform.
When asked if he had picked anyone to serve on his administration as of yet he said no. He continued that his first task was to get elected. He would then concentrate on finding the best qualified and experienced person to fill a given position.
I asked him about enhancing code enforcement and reinstating a city court. His response was that the cost/return ratio for a city court was ineffectual but indicated he wanted to have a well staffed law department to prosecute offenders through superior courts already in place. He confirmed that there are plans underway to have at least one if not two more superior courts in place by 2009.
When asked about further privatization fo city services he incicated that when such is farmed out, much control is lost by the city.
Mr. Abersold assurred those present that his primary focus would be on those in his district and to do that which was best for New Albany.
Mr. Bliss sited his former experience as a council member and his desire to serve the entire city. He also voiced concerns about storm water and trash issues in not only the 5th district but all of New Albany as well.
I expressed my frustration at the present governments' failure to communicate and to withold pertinent information from each other and the public on the issues before them. I then asked them all if they would put forth a concious effort to change that dynamic.
They all responded in the affirmative and promised to remain available to answer questions the public may have.
They were further asked if they individually would be open to attending perhaps quarterly meetings with various neighborhood groups to discuss issues and concerns specific to that particular area.
All three expressed not only a willingness but a desire to work with neighborhoods, blockwatch groups etc.
All in all it was a productive informative evening albeit limited in its scope. None of them expressed a specific step by step plan for how to accomplish a specific objective. All however pledged to do their best with whatever they find to work with if elected and to remain open to suggestion.
SGNA will host the Democrat Candidates for a similar forum at their November 1st, 2007 Meeting.
Note, there is a debate between the 3rd district Council Candidates (CM Price & Ms. Sharlow) scheduled for Oct. 10th, at the Muir Center on Market Street.
Now, where's my breakfast beer?