As I sat through the first RIOC Board Nominee Candidate Night at the Church of the Good Shepherd it was clear each of the candidates present that evening wants to make a difference and are committed to learning more.
PressHD has put on line this evening thre great videos capturing the presentations better than I could with my little cameras. There were less than 100 Island residents in attendance which is a shame but thanks to PressHD you can watch the events on that website.
What I was struck by was that a number of the candidates were not aware of basic issues covered continuously in the WIRE, including the issue as to whether Southpoint Park should include a memorial for FDR and what the central issues are regarding that memorial. To give the candidate's the benefit of the doubt there are many issues that each of them can not have the experience of understanding until the elected six are formally vested in their positions.
The Q&A focused on the following issues: Main Street Stores, Transportation Issues, Open Spaces, Southpoint, Deteriorating Landmarks, Emergency Preparedness and Privatization.
We are not electing professional politcians which is good so don't expect the most polished of speakers although some are better than others. But on the flip side I would have hoped each would have at least an opinion on each of the issues as they are covered in the WIRE. I am not saying they should be experts but at least have some opinion if they expect us to vote for them. To simply expect them to reflect our own opinions is not enough although once they know the opinions of the populace they should work to meld both their views and ours in representing us on the Board.
So I encourage you to go to PressHD for their continuing video coverage provided of our first true taste of democracy. And don't forget to thank RIRA, The Maple Tree Group, and Matt Katz for a well run event.
Candidates Night # 2 is planned for Saturday Night February 2nd just before the election on Feb. 5th. Be there (at the Church) if you have questions and for a final chance to hear all the candidtaes.