Tomorrow is the preliminary election! The votes you cast tomorrow will decide which candidates will move on to the general election.
If you're wondering which candidates to vote for when you step into the voting booth, let me share some thoughts with you.
The last two years have not been good ones for our school system or our school committee. It seems our committee has spent much of their time looking to beat up our former Superintendent and chasing one money problem after another. Tie that in with a DESE report that was highly critical of our committee and it's tough to want to vote for any of them. On the other hand, most of the challengers have done little to set themselves apart.
Two candidates that I think are worth voting for are incumbent Joe Martins and challenger Rick Pavao.
In 2007 it was hard not to be impressed with Joe's resume. An experienced educator and administrator and the former Superintendent of Diman, Joe brings a wealth of needed experience to the school committee. He has been outspoken for public input and has shown a desire to an involved and informed member of the committee.
When Rick Pavao was the Superintendent of the Fall River Public School system he was well liked by teachers and administrators and responsive to parents. Rick's tenure was marked by several challenges and I think many of the recent successes of our school system can be attributed to decisions made on his watch. I think Rick's understanding of the day to day operations of our school system can only help our committee make better decisions.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”
The old quote about insanity, would seem to perfectly apply to our city council. We keep electing the same people and we keep getting the same results, no forward movement. In 2009 I'm not voting for a single incumbent. Thankfully, unlike the school committee race there are several good city council candidates to choose from.
Eric Poulin - Eric impressed the heck out of me in 2007. He easily had the best platform and seemed to know the issues better than his competition. Since 2007 Eric has remained involved in the community. Just like 2007 Eric is already talking about specifics. I think he could be an exciting voice on the council.
Mike Miozza - I've said it before, my biggest disappointment in 2007 was Mike not making the council. Nobody council candidate worked harder to communicate their platform. There was talk that Mike might not make another run, I'm glad that wasn't the case. Mike is a dedicated, hard worker. He is someone who is open minded and makes decisions after taking the time to research the issue. Mike deserves your every consideration for one of your city council votes.
Micheal Canuel - Canuel has done a good job of using the heartache of 2007, (missing the general election by just over 20 votes) as his tagline for 2009. Micheal hasn't won me over in 2009, but he has touted an idea that I think is a real winner. Canuel wants to develop a city council website that would allow the citizens to follow the agenda of the council and to research how they have voted on past council votes. It's a great idea and one that needs to be championed. Mike just might deserve a vote to give him some more time to make his case.
Ray Mitchell - It's interesting how Ray gets lumped in with Brad Kilby as two guys who have been there and are trying to return to the council. Although it's true that when Ray and Brad last served on the council Bush was president, in the case of Ray it was George H.W. and not his lackluster son. A big difference between Ray and Brad is Brad has been mostly absent from the campaign trail while Ray has probably worked harder than any other candidate. Ray gets my consideration for a few key reasons - 1.) He's experienced, he's been there before and can hit the ground running. 2.) He's got over a decade of experience on the F.R. School Committee and the Diman School Committee - which I think could be a benefit on the City Council.
Kris Bartley - Caught in a crowded field of new candidates Kris has done a better job of standing out then some of competition. Kris is someone that I would 'throw' a vote to because I like what I've heard and want to give him some time to hear more.
Honestly I could probably support Ray, Cathy Ann or Will, but in the end I think Steve Camara is the best choice for Mayor. Fall River needs a leader who can move the city in a forward direction. Steve's urban policy education, his deep passion for the city, his belief in protecting its history and in embracing the arts are all qualities that I believe will help Fall River realize it's potential. Fall River needs a mayor that can not only talk about a future vision for Fall River, but one who believes it and understands what is needed to move in that direction and make it a reality.
So there you have it, here are some of my voting thoughts, feel free to share yours.