This is a guest commentary by Bill Arens.
I find it most interesting to watch the election process as it unveils itself. From the Federal level down to our local campaigns I have tried to familiarize myself as to where each candidate stands on the issues and try to pick the ones I think will do the best job. In order to do this one must follow the debates and listen to what is being said and see if they, the candidates, really have a grip on some of the very complicated problems we face.
We need to see their concept of how things can be resolved in a way that is good for the county or our local community depending on what office they are running for. It is at this point we the voters want to be dazzled with your brilliance and not baffled with your double-talk. (Even I can be politically correct, now and then.)
It seems to me that this is the point where the lesser candidates become desperate and start with the mud slinging, hit pieces, or revelations of who did or didn't inhale some 35 years ago. (Go ahead and try and find someone that didn't.) Included in these tactics are misquotations, lies through omission or just plain lies.
Sometimes candidates will use an attack dogs, (my apologies to the dogs) hard liners (left or right) or some unrelated committee no one can trace to do their bidding thinking these kind of tactics will get them ahead in the race but wait. I fear they have forgotten the adage "The world is a mirror, what you project so shall it reflect."
Rather than impress us, the voters become very under whelmed with these tactics and must ask themselves "If they will do this to get into office, what do you think they will do once they get elected?" Scary isn't it! I know I am not alone in feeling very disappointed when I see a candidate stoop to this level.
This not only reflects badly on them but at the same time discourages some of our brightest and best from ever throwing their hat in the ring because they don't want to roll in the mud. I believe this is why some top people refused to run. I would vote for a quality person if they were with the Democratic, Republican or Pink Tutu Party because of their qualifications not their party affiliations. Hard liners scare me especially those
Pink Tutu guys.
Some folks believe that this is just a popularity contest and they have to vote for someone just because they know them and they are real nice. For the record, I know my mother and I think she is real nice but I wouldn't vote for her. She isn't up on the issues and would not make the best candidate even though she makes a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies. I don't care if she threw in the ice cream, sorry mom it ain't gonna
happen! I want the very best! Now can I have the ice cream?
Locally we have a race among 5 candidates that all have fine reputations. They each have qualifications and a great deal of community service and all are to be respected. I have reviewed their current positions and backgrounds. After watching the debates among them, listening to them during or having had a one on one conversation with them and observing their responses when asked about the issues, I have come to the
Laurie Ender has a great deal of background with the education system. Having been with the PTA and other school related activities as well as serving on the Parks and Recreation Commission I believe she should run for the school board. This is a place where her star would shine the brightest and I would support her for that position.
Maria Gutzeit is a chemical engineer with a deep background in water and water-related subjects. Water has become one of the most important issues we face in the southwestern states and we need good qualified people like Maria to help lead us in solving the many problems we will be facing.
Diane Trautman has established herself on the Planning Commission as someone who prepares themselves on the critical issues like the hospital and the need for an appropriately located MRF facility, just to name a few. To replace her at this critical time would be difficult at best and we need good people on the Commission.
Bob Kellar has proven himself for over a decade with the city between the Planning Commission and the City Council. Recently, he was caught between two sets of laws requiring him to do the opposite of each other. Kind of like a kid where mom says YES and dad says NO and no mater which way he turns he's gonna get a whoopen! I think Bob handled this situation by getting clarification from the agencies involved and then taking the appropriate action. I believe Bob Kellar handled this with class and deserves to be reelected.
Last but certainly not least is Bob Spierer. I have watched this man function since before this campaign started. He is like the Energizer Bunny working with groups on major issues to resolve problems. He has brought himself up to date and established a rapport with many of the movers and shakers, something that is required to solve problems. He
has the political savvy required to listen and bring two opposing sides together. I believe Bob Spierer has the best qualifications, second only to a sitting Council person, to fill the vacant position on our City Council.