Thursday, August 27, 2009

Part II of Monday Nights Mayoral Forum's Quick Review

Part II of Monday Nights Mayoral Forum's Quick Review

LNG - If Mayor how would you continue the battle ?

CAV - She would use the Mayoral soap box

MA - Bring it in and lets get some revenue

SC - He fought LNG from being set up near Kennedy Park!

WF - "continue to stand" (has he really been active in the fight against Hess?) Would use the Mayoral Soap Box. Bob has been silent

RH- Opposed this proposal from day one! Would show strong resistance! (loud Mayoral Soap Box) Bashed Bob! Compared it to natural gas explosion in Somerset. Do we really need the scare tactic?

MA - 3 SC - 3 WF - 3 RH - 3 CAV - 3 (lackluster answers across the board)

Master Plan - How would the next mayor implement the Master Plan?

CAV - Would outreach to the citizens of Fall River. Noted the Master Plan has set actions and timelines. I think she's saying if we stick to the plan it will implement itself.

MA - Do in stages, other plans have just sat on the shelf. Master plans interfere with the plans of future generations, we should just create a good foundation.

SC - Other communities show the benefit of implementing, need to follow their example. Touts his background and education in Urban Policy. Stresses the need to design and evaluate, analyze and embrace and the importance of resource allocation.

WF - Mentions the ol' shelf and the need to implement the Master Plan

RH - states he would implement the Master Plan.

MA - 1 SC - 5 WF - 3 RH - 2 CAV - 4

Responsiveness - How would the next mayor make the city more responsive to the needs of the people?

MA - He would ask the neighborhoods what they need.

SC - Would create an atmosphere of R-E-S-P-E-C-T (sock it to me!). Would create a more transparent government will more information on the city website and more programming on the Government local access cable channel (all Steve all the time). Fall River jobs for Fall River people.

WF - People are losing hope would hold monthly meetings with neighborhood associations.

RH - He would tear down Government Center. (Is that helpful?) He would seek more State and Federal grants to improve service. No gag orders on department heads!

CAV - She give city residents a satisfaction survey. The citizens of the city are the government’s customers (really we're the boss but whatever) She too would hold regular neighborhood meetings and incorporate neighborhood work plans. All city employees would go through customer service training.

MA - 1 SC - 5 WF 3 RH - 2 CAV - 4

Historical Preservation - What would the next mayor due to preserve our history for our future?

SC - Stresses his activist work to preserve our past.

WF - Says we need to preserve, but doesn't say how, uses ensure a few more times.

RH - Believes we need to identify key properties and restore or rehab.

CAV - States that the Master Plan has provisions for this with the creation of a 40C district. States we need to enforce ordinances to delay demolition to allow time for historical consideration.

MA - Says we need to preserve, but doesn't say how.

MA - 1 SC - 4 WF - 2 RH - 3 CAV - 5

Waterfront/Downtown - a lengthy question basically asking how the next mayor would revitalize and develop these two areas.

WF - Offers a list of old ideas that we've heard before. This isn't necessarily bad but it's not new and some of it is already in the works. Tear down 79, a sports stadium, develop shops and restaurants, build off of Restaurant Row.

RH - Change the direction of Downtown to east/west. (Another Poulin idea!) Daylight the Quequechan and build a performing arts center on the waterfront. (Again some more old ideas)

CAV - Believes we should develop a tranquil waterfront and an active Downtown. (Should that be the reverse?)

MA - We're all broke we need a commercial waterfront! Bring Paris to Fall River, a Quincy market atmosphere downtown.

SC - Innovation - the Emeril Tour! Build on the momentum of places like the Narrows. Link our Olmstead Parks.

MA - 2 SC - 5 WF - 4 RH -3 CAV -5

Closing statements -

RH - He's been a dedicated councilor and he'll be a dedicated mayor. He's a neighborhood guy who will work for the people of Fall River's neighborhoods.

CAV - She's talked to people of Fall River to find out what they want in their next Mayor.

MA - He's asking for your consideration. I'm sure you'll see him again in 2 years!

SC - Believes people are smarter than yard signs and touts his Urban Policy education

WF - We need to fix the city!

MA - 1 SC - 5 WF - 3 RH - 4 - CAV - 2

Final observations
It was good to see over 100 Fall River residents turn out to hear what their candidates for Mayor had to say. Save Our Neighborhoods deserves a big hand for putting on the event and for putting together a list of good questions.

Five candidates spent the better part of 2 hours answering questions to give you an idea on how they would lead the city of Fall River. In my opinion Councilor Steve Camara won the night. Steve routinely had amongst the strongest answers of the night and could point to his activism and Urban Policy background. Steve's passion and belief also came through and I think that's important. However Councilor Cathy Ann Viveiros also had a very strong night. Her passion just wasn't as tangible and her closing statement seemed to add up to "I'll be whatever you want me to be" and that is not leadership. Still many times her answers were the most specific and simply the best. Will Flanagan certainly held his own and came across as confident and polished. It was a good showing for a 28 year old who has never held political office. Will's replies never seemed to convince me that he knew HOW he was going to achieve his goals. In short his answers just brought up more questions. Why does Manny Alves run? He clearly was over his head the whole night long and he is never taken as a serious candidate. Still he can be funny and is likable, you wonder if he could have ever have made a successful run for City Council. The bigger loser of the night has got to be Ray Hague. Ray is someone I've grown to like seeing on the City Council, hard working, blue collar, and scrappy - everything Fall River should be proud of. The thing is Hague has already been picked as the underdog and he needed to show he could outgun the others and win this election. He didn't do that Monday night.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced that because ideas have been presented before they should be discounted.

The problem has been over the years, the ideas that may work have only been implemented if they serve certain people not the citizenry as a whole.

Lefty said...

I agree, and said this in an earlier comment on the part one post.

Many many ideas and platform points resurface every election year.

If an idea is good there is no reason why a candidate shouldn't use it.

I do have a bit of an issue when the candidates throw the idea out there and it's one we've heard for ever but don't offer you any insight on how they are going to accomplish what no one else has been able to.

I through out Eric Poulin's name not because I want to criticize people for using his ideas but because I clearly remember Eric championing them 2 years ago. It's also worth noting his ideas because he's running for the council this time around. It goes to reason that if Ray Hague, for instance, is elected Mayor and wants to implement an East/West downtown, he would have an advocate in Eric Poulin, if Poulin should win a seat.

reality check said...

Obviously the winner is in the ears of the beholder. Although you appear to be smitten with Camara's Urban Policy degree and the fact that he is articulate, it doesn't add up to substance.

The reason for Flanagan not using existing schools is because the non-profits who wish to implement these programs do not have the freedom to run the programs the way they want.

Although I am not Hague fan I thought he had some interesting proposals, such as using some of the money from selling unused schools to buy the St. Williams property. This would expand Maplewood Park and the old St. Williams Center could remain a senior center.

I don't know if Camara is your candidate but it seems as though your analysis is a little slanted.

Lefty said...

RC,

I agree this is MY opinion and everyone will have a different take on this. I will say most people I talked to thought Steve came out on top or at least second place.

Going into the forum I thought Cathy Ann would win this hands down. I expected her to be the best prepared and give the best answers. Often she was but I with a combination of passion, vision, and experience (i.e. urban policy education etc.) I thought Steve made a better case for his election.

I thought Will did very well but I have said this for MONTHS he does not have the recognition the others do and needs to work harder to demonstrate that he deserves to be Mayor. I got blasted for it, but I'm not backing away from that belief. Will's best showing of the night was on adult entertainment. He needs to answer more questions with that kind of innovation and detail.

I agree Ray's ideas about selling surplus school property and using the money to expand the Maplewood park area was a good one. But when it came time to write the post I forgot it!

And I based all of this on the impressions I was left with whatever notes I could type up. If I were to rewatch this I may feel differently. Still if Steve didn't win then Cathy did and the rest are not even close.

Anonymous said...

Steve Camara mentioned San Antonio as comparable to Fall River. He said it might be a bit bigger, but I believe the population of San Antonio is about 2 million! It is the second largest city in Texas.

Lefty said...

I can only think of two possible answers...

1. Councilor Camara overheard Mayor Correia talk about the 2010 census and how population determined the amount of money we would get from the state and federal government and figured he would start this myth that Fall River was as large as San Antonio

2. Councilor Camara is really MUCH older than he looks and the last time he went to San Antonio was 1910.

1910 96,614 81.2%

Anonymous said...

I am still left scratching my head as to why Eric Poulin didn't run for Mayor. There is no clear favorite in this election, it seems like a lot of people I talk to dislike Bob Correia but aren't thrilled with any of the others running. It just seems that Poulin could've run away with this election and won it hands down, why pass that up especially after running such a hard fought campaign the last time?

It Said said...

I thought Ray, Will and Steve had the stronger performaces of the night for varying reasons..Cathy Ann looked unprepared and unfocused, choosing to play it safe with what she may think is a lead..

Why aren't these forums packed?

Where is the passion for this election?

I'm starting to hear that Bob could in fact win this thing if he gets his usual North Side support..and he could certainly be penciled into the final two..

Still, his refusal to defend his record with his opponents in the room is a puzzling campaign strategy and a risk from any angle..but where is the buzz for this thing? There seemed to be far more interest two years ago..

Anonymous said...

Bob doesn't have North End support the North End of the city hates him. I think you mean South End support. For some reason a lot of folks in the South End seem to love him.

Lefty said...

Anon 3:30

I'm not sure why Eric didn't run for Mayor. A lot of it probably had to do with the question of whether or not he could raise enough money to compete with Bob, Steve and Cathy.

Still I think Poulin can be a very effective voice on the city council.

It,

Cathy's note reading wasn't obvious to me, blame it on an obstructed view. I still think many of her answers were the best. Yet, the note reading makes me think Steve did even better than I originally thought. Ray had his moments but I thought he needed to really do great to get people to give him more consideration.

I thought this forum was well attended. I think the lack of passion has more to do with 2007. In 2007 you had a long standing mayor not run for re-election. That got the buzz starting right from the start and there was media coverage starting a year in advance.

Personally I have said Bob was going to win a second term for months now. First I was told he wasn't going to run, well that turned out be false and now I'm told he won't even make the final 2. I notice lots of Bob signs, yes mostly in the South End - still we'll have to see on that last one.

Anonymous said...

Poulin stayed involved after the last election and he may not be running for mayor this time but he has my vote for council.

Fuggetaboudit said...

Bob's got dis one in da bag. What are ya, stupah? He is da mayah for me. I no like all deese udda peepilsh.