Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mayoral Candidate Forum

After the LAB meeting, I got to catch the five candidates for mayor in their first open forum. Nothing much surprising happened and no one knocked themselves out of the race, though Brent Ritzel didn't do himself any favors by strongly advocating a tax on plastic and paper bags to the group of about a hundred onlookers.

Saluki Way tax--When asked if they would look for ways to repeal it, everyone except Fritzler said they supported keeping it, with Haynes and Goldman pointing to the 400 construction jobs the complex brought to the community and the increase sales in restaurants on game nights. Ritzel appeared to support it but was was lukewarm at best. Maroney came out strongest: "It's a done deal. Get over it."

All five candidates supported eliminating restrictions on liquor sales by grocery stores, saying that the current restrictions held back free enterprise.

None of the other responses really made a strong point. Since it was held at the Boys and Girls Club, a couple of the questions dealt with the city and education. All of the cnadidates pointed out that, while they as mayor would support education, the school system was separate from the city and there wasn't really much they could do about Carbondale schools.

All of the candidates made much of their managerial, business and experience in government. Fritzler appeared to notice the emphasis on business experience in the other candidate's opening statements as he played up his more in his closing statement.

Saw city council candidates Jane Adams and Don Monty in the audience and had the opportunity to speak with Tommy Hamilton, who is running for a seat on District 95's school board. He wants to see more parental and community involvement in the schools and apparently has been quite active with the school system as a parent.

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