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 The Debate Between Council Candidates

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PostSubject: The Debate Between Council Candidates   Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:12 pm

The City of Ortonville conducted its debate/forum meeting with its candidates running for city Council in the mayoral candidates on October 24, 2009 at Fairway View with a total of 28 people present.

The group was led by the infamous Paul Zahn appearing without his cigar butt with his good sense of humor. He did a great job moderating the event. He did make it very apparent that parties do read this forum by pointing out that this was not a debate but a forum. This reporter doesn't really understand why the distinction is so important.

The parties asking the questions were Richard Ash, Sue Kaercher and Julie French.

Personally appearing were City Council candidates, Nick Anderson, Angela Doren, William Powel and Mel Reinke. Robert Meyer was unable to attend but had a statement at the end of the session.

It is always difficult if not impossible to differentiate reporting objectively and without opinions and editorializing. To avoid being criticized I will try to refrain from editorializing until the end of the articke.

In any good public presentation, one begins to judge appearances as part of the forums themselves. All candidates dressed appropriately and professionally. Some may have dressed better and appeared more professional while others attempted to give a more personal and relaxed dress.

The public will have an opportunity to see the forums on Monday at 6 PM on the public access TV.

Nick Anderson was the first to answer the questions and addressed the major shortcoming of Ortonville on the issue of infrastructure. Almost each and every question that Mr. Anderson was asked he pointed to the need of having proper infrastructure. On one of the issues, there seemed to be a differing of opinion on whether to lease or purchase equipment. This was in stark contrast with another candidate Bill Powell. Mr. Anderson pointed out that the golf course may have been wiser in the long run to purchase some equipment versus leasing and hoped that the Council would make better decisions in the future.

William Powel addressed the need to attract businesses in a more general way like going to tradeshows and using political contacts in addition to the current large expenditures to EDA. He appeared to be supportive of the existing city clerk when he pointed out that the postage machine purchased by the city clerk was not purchased but was leased. This somehow was an attempt to justify that the lease was more expensive than a purchase which appeared to support the existing city clerk. This was almost contra to what Mr. Anderson had said about purchase versus lease on the golf course. Mr. Powell was to the point when he said that there needed to be more goals spelled out for EDA.

Angela Doren, was at a significant disadvantage of having not set on the Council unlike all of the other members present but appeared logical in her approach. She was concerned about the redevelopment of retail in Ortonville and believes that the Internet could help market Ortonville better. Although, it appeared as if she was not given adequate time to explain herself fully,her approach was logical. She appeared to be friendly and appeared to be a person who would listen. Although not a lifetime resident, she may be a good political candidate and make a good councilmen.

Mel Reinke seemed to have an entirely different approach than the other candidates. He pointed out that the city clerk's office appears to be inefficient and was critical of a postage machine which could been purchased for less than leased. He was very specific about the budget shortfall and said that the city needed to look at such issues as a pay freeze, no new hiring, but most importantly said that we needed to come together as a community. He appeared open-minded and cordial and gave the appearance that he was open to new ideas.

Robert Meyer was unable to attend because of personal commitments. Paul read a letter from Bob Meyer, from whom all of us know. Mr. Meyer is a person that indicated that he would be thoughtful to others and would listen and obey the wishes of the people. Although he was not allowed to address the exact questions asked, in a general sort of way, he indicated his thinking if he were elected city Council. He indicated that he would act as a public servant and would give consideration to all who spoke.

As a general overview, the inability of any of the parties including the moderator to follow up with a question created a cushy type atmosphere that was almost too friendly. It also prevented the candidates from explaining their positions when they were questioned. So it allowed the party answering the questions second, third or last the advantage without giving the earlier candidates a chance to respond.

It also prevented the candidates from asking each other the more difficult questions. It is only the ability to respond to these difficult questions that will help us grow.
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PostSubject: Debate? Forum?   Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:41 pm

I listened to the debate/forum on KDIO radio this morning. I was a bit
disappointed as Reporter noted that there were no follow up questions
to the candidates.

Personally, the questions asked lacked something - maybe it was the lack of follow-up and I was disappointed.

I am curious to know how many of the questions came from the community and not from those 'asking' the questions.

Reporter - you gave a great visual in your writing!


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PostSubject: I Like the Candidates and the Voters Have Something to Vote For?   Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:59 am

Unlike many elections we feel like we have no choices. This election we have choices and the candidates have stances.

Angela Doren presents an interesting candidate. For those who have not met her take the time and asks questions she is articulate and will tell you her positions.

All of the other candidates have been on council before and there personalities and positions are well known.
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PostSubject: Re: The Debate Between Council Candidates   Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:49 am

I enjoyed the chance to meet many community members and current council members Saturday at the Forum. As you all know, I have not sat on any city council prior to running this year, and I have many things to learn to be as effective as I would like for the City of Ortonville. In order to do that, I need to listen to the community members to understand all sides to each issue.
I am passionate about the Economic path the city has been on, the youth, working residents and the retired community. I do hope I am given the opportunity to learn and grow with all of you.
Because many people in the town have not personally met me, I would like to offer my email address if anybody has any direct questions they would like me to answer.
AngelaDoren@hotmail.com.
Best of luck to all of the canidates for council and for the mayor position. I think each of us have something to offer, but, it was obvious that Ortonville council members need to form a unity among themselves and work together or no changes to the current situation will occur.
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