Last night I attended, An Evening with City Council Candidates, hosted by Speak up Fall River and the International Institute of Culinary Arts.
Truthfully I did not go down with the intention of blogging about it,(although I should have thought more about that!), but I wanted to share some observations.
The event was held at the Great Hall and had just started when I arrived. One of the first things I noticed were the three cameras covering the event. For those of you who didn't get to attend that means that should be available on ch95 and hopefully on the internet.
The next thing I noticed is how many empty seats there were. Later I overheard someone on a cell phone say that it 'wasn't capacity, but it was well attended'. Well I disagree. I think if you stripped away the candidates and their supporters, the various people involved in organizing the event you would be lucky to much more than a dozen people who simply attended to hear these candidates speak.
I'm not being critical of the event, but I being critical of more citizens not taking the opportunity to come and see this first hand.
The event itself was very nicely put together, hors d'oeuvres were served and at the rear of the room was a an arrangement of display boards with each candidates positions on 12 issues presented to them by Speak Up Fall River.
A really fantastic community event, and community service. I hope the organizations involved are considering doing more events in the future.
Jamie Boulay, Michael Canuel, and Michael Lund all impressed me much more here than they did on the 'Meet the Candidate' program on local access. That said, I'm still concerned about Lund having an agenda and I'm not sold on Canuel or Boulay but I still listening!
Cathy Ann Viveiros has to be the most polished, confident, vibrant candidate running for council and while I'm not ready to endorse anyone here. I'll simply say I'm impressed.
Listening to veteran council candidate Pat Casey reminded me that while it's nice to have candidates who are trying to be visionaries with bold plans for our future, it's comforting to have a City Councilor who involves herself when ever a public safety issue arises, organizes and participates in neighborhood cleanups and actually asks you if you there any issues she can assist you with.
That Gus Suneson, when he wants to be, can be a very effective public speaker. His speech was one of the better ones of the evening.
That veteran City Councilor, Leo Pelletier, not only didn't participate but that I can't recall having seen a single campaign sign for him. Yet, I'm sure he'll be one of the top vote getters on the council.
Finally that it wouldn't have hurt several of the candidates to have used a prepared text, or perhaps some key points jotted down on index cards to refer to. Speaking in front of a crowd isn't easy but why make it tougher than it has to be?