After sitting through the All Candidates Forum, and heading back to the office to listen to all of the questions and answers ,again I have to admit to feeling underwhelmed.
Perhaps it was all of the talk leading into the event, but I had hoped to hear many new ideas on what the candidates are hoping to do to help take Golden into a better future.
It should not be said that the evening was a complete wash.
One of the key ideas of the night was the idea of respect on different levels.
Some of the candidates spoke at times during the event about what Golden had to offer people who live here, those who may decide to live here and those who just come here for a vacation. Though admitting times have been tough there was a glimmer of hope that by working together something good can come from everything going on in the community.
I would have like to hear more from candidates who went with the old political answer of simply listening to the people.
Answering questions by saying you are going to listen to the people to hear what they want is not actually an answer.
If you are involved in politics on any level you must listen to the people. Part of the job is being a leader of the community and that means having ideas to share with the people as well.
Too many times at the forum a candidates would talk for a minutes and would not say much beyond the safe answer, “I will listen to the people.” But where were the ideas?
Then there is the point of negativity. I had hoped to hear more about what could be done to make Golden stronger, but instead the stakes were driven in over and over again about how bad things are and how the town is essentially falling into the depths of despair.
This byelection, for some candidates, stems from being upset about the decisions and actions of the present council. Everyone has the right to have their point of view, however, I had hoped (and occasionally, thankfully did) to hear something from candidates who see something positive in Golden. I have always believed the easiest job in politics is to be on the opposition side of a majority government. The reason being you get to complain about everything but do not have the votes to change anything.
This is the same feeling I felt listening and re-listening to the speeches made by some of the candidates. Tearing into the council is one thing, having it as a backbone of a campaign seems to be detrimental for all of the residents in the end.
Then there is the discussion of how to work with others.
This is vital for anyone who will be sitting in a room with the present councillors to make decisions for the future. This idea was brought up in different ways during the night.
A great point about how debates are a key to making the best decision and agreement was not necessary as long as people respect the right to disagree. Without the abilility to have a difference of opinions and still be able to work together nothing can be accomplished.
I would have to say some of the lines were certainly crossed on the night of the forum and that is too bad for all of us.
Personally, I would also like to know how taxes are going to drop without losses in services to the town? But that will have to be a discussion for another time.
I know I have only been in this area for a short time, but I have to say it is a great place to live with many great people. I have written many an editorial which praise the hard working residents who give so much of themselves to make the Golden succeed as a whole. I still have to hope in the last days of this campaign ideas and plans for a better future are shared with all of us so that when we vote it is it is about the future and not the past.