The Women’s League of Voters hosted a fantastic debate on March 26th for the City Council and Mayors Races in Westfield. As always they are interesting events and you can typically expect the same rhetoric and political hooha from all candidates. But last evening was a little bit different and I left not only surprised at the discussions and opinions but confident that I have chosen to support the right people for the job. Westfield is part way through a surge in development and growth and continuing a mission that has been well thought out and devised is key for the future growth of our community. So my points begin….
Outside of Mr Edwards, there was not one apposing district candidate that held any weight and this is by a landslide. The current candidates were able to speak with passion and long term commitment on the topics that concern our city most. Between the anger and fixation on past issues, terrible data and lack of real life examples of how to move forward the new candidates seemed lost in how a city operates. I was excited to see Mckinney up front as he seemed half the age of the next guy but once he opened his mouth it was quickly evident that he had no idea what was going on in Westfield. The last thing we need in Westfield is inexperience and lack of respect for the hard work that has been done, running our city. One guys seemed to be yelling a lot which was distracting and annoying.
The At-Large candidates were a bit more entertaining but it was a landslide for who is and is not qualified. Jim Ake is good and Tom Smith seemed to be coming from a concerned citizen that fears the planning and mission may be diverted under new leadership. I appreciated Jones’ participation but he seemed to know nothing about anything other then he was a good guy we can trust. Well that aint getting my vote for sure. As for Mr. Thomas, he is going to explode some day from anger and his numbers concerning debt and liability could not be anymore skewed. The problem is he believes this data and I want a leader that understands debt liability and assets all on the same page. Fear and long winded comments have never led a city into greatness.
It is a shame that a candidate can file and waste as much time as Mr Harpe has in the past few months. Between suing the very city he wants to run and holding up the development of Holladay Properties indoor facility, he has done nothing but damage for our community. Mayor Cook did a great job of explaining past work and plans to continue answering the growth demand that Westfield has no choice but to adopt. Harpe insulted the process with an embarrassing presentation and comparing city employees to kindergarteners. I am sure Harpe wants the best for Westfield but it could not be more apparent that he is being propped up by a small group looking to take down Mayor Cook. Mayor Cook has put forth a plan and a staff that can create a great city and the data to back it up.
Overall I think the debates were nice to hold and well organized, but unfortunately the quality of debate was less then impressive. I am all for contest and questioning the establishment but coming unprepared and with poor examples of failure do nothing for me. I also witnessed the major difference between a mostly Monday Morning QB presence from opposing candidates and the sitting representatives. All of the current Council Members and Mayor Cook are passionately involved in community events and volunteer opportunities and that alone was the major difference that is important to me. Sitting on the sideline and griping about what someone else is doing is easy but getting involved and putting the hard work in is not and that is the difference I witnessed between the 2 groups. I encourage every citizen to vote in May and stake your claim on where you want Westfield to go in the future.