Who’s not talking and why?

All a person has to do is leave town for a bit and rumors seem to float through the gossipsphere. Fact is, we were pickin’ up our Rockerology PhD from EBDU. Kudos to all who “knew for a fact” the reasons for our skiving.

Managed to read a piece or two on local happenings while in absentia. It’s good to know that very little changes on the political scene, even while voters gear up to flock (?) to the polls in November to hire our next governing hands. Some candidates seem to be campaigning hard for the jobs; some apparently seem to think that just isn’t necessary. 

In editions of this WPJ, we noticed the candidate forum provided for all those who would be policy makers. Ironically, we observed that some of the same individuals who took council meeting and workshop absenteeism to an art form dittoed when given a chance to answer simple questions for voters. Not to be outdone, two who are challenging for occupied seats declined to give their opinions. 

Silence, people, is not golden. But perhaps those who were mum on subjects remembered the famous Abraham Lincoln admonition about silence removing all doubt when one’s views are sought.

Still, we were very curious about why a person offering themselves as the one to lead either a council district or a city would pass on the opportunity to give constituents a reason to follow them.

In our not-quite four score and seven years, we’ve seen pitifully few politicians unwilling to throw their shoulder out of joint patting themselves on the back.

Heck, folks. Receiving a list of questions and having weeks to respond is like taking an open book test. Responding in writing gives a candidate the chance to think, then inform voters about how in touch he/she is with issues and the people. It also gives the really shrewd candidate time to hire someone to write the answers. 

There are other signs of a rather curious campaign season. For years, we’ve heard supposed experts tell us a measure of a candidate’s campaign success or failure is the number of signs posted in yards in relevant areas. Cerebrals say it indicates how hard the candidate is working and how well-organized are his/her staff and volunteers. 

In the words of the faceless voice at rural Vermont public meetings, “I disagree.”

Wise man Angelo believed yard signs were diversions. Many yard owners say yes just to get folks to go away; some do so to keep others from asking permission to poke holes in the grass. Like Angelo, we believe in the face-to-face approach especially in smaller cities like ours. Door-knocking and public forums/debates are much desired.

A pair of forums, we hear, have already been conducted. Candidate attendance, we are told, wasn’t close to 100 percent. That’s unfortunate. We also hear a couple of incumbents were conspicuously absent. Too bad. Public forums are good for candidate and voter, and so was the written forum so many skipped.

Perhaps we have our explanation. Some candidates aren’t afraid to talk, just afraid to put talk into print where it’s in the public domain forever. We believe communication is one of the most important factors of successful leadership. Transparency is another. To us, it’s transparently apparent some candidates aren’t comfortable revealing their intentions. 

On the streets and over coffee, we hear complaints about the failure of our city’s elected to work as a unit. A little education on our part is needed as we decide who will direct our future. Study each candidate, be he/she seeking council or mayoral seat. Think about who talks to you and who won’t. Consider: Are they asking for your vote or demanding it?

Remember what the knight said to Indiana Jones: Choose wisely.