October 4, 2007

Etna candidates forum

It's continuing to be a good year for candidates forums, with about 25 people attending Tuesday night's event in Etna. We got off to a bit of a late start, because the Republicans needed to get their projector for the presentation they open with, but once it started, the conversation flowed.

Crowd at meet the candidates forum
Crowd at Etna meet the candidates forum.

This forum, moderated by WHCU's Geoff Dunn, felt a bit calmer. More of this forum focused on issues specific to the town, with questions of patriotism trapped in a multi-part question from Henry Kramer that even the Republicans didn't seem to give the yes or no he'd requested. Mike Lane's final question, on sewers, struck me as closest to the kinds of concrete issues the Town Board will have to deal with. The Republican Town Boards seemed behind on sewers (though to be fair, Town Clerk Bambi Hollenbeck had some good ideas about grants) and the Town's Comprehensive Plan. On the Republican side, only Stan Marcus seemed familiar with it, while on the Democratic side, only Joe Solomon hadn't read it deeply yet.

The Justice candidates had fewer questions until near the end, when someone asked about Drug Court. Republican Judge Chris Clauson said he couldn't discuss the matter, while Democratic challenger Jason Leifer made it plain that he wants all sentencing options available.

Jason Leifer speaks
Town Justice candidate Jason Leifer gives his opening statement.

Eminent domain also came up, with Art Berkey asking about its use for private developments, the kind of issue that raised a fury in the Supreme Court's Kelo decision. Everyone seemed opposed to the use of eminent domain for those purposes, and Democratic Supervisor candidate Mary Ann Sumner said further that the use of eminent domain needs to be for large public projects, not simply recreation or trails.

The next (and currently last) candidates forum will be at the Varna Community Center, October 23rd at 7:00pm. As always, refreshments will be served, including my mulled cider.

Posted by simon at October 4, 2007 12:35 PM in ,
Note on photos