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Republicans Decline to Participate in Upcoming Candidate Forum

February 26, 2008

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
To the editor,

This is to let Croton residents know about an upcoming candidate forum to be held at the Croton Free Library, Saturday March 8th, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Originally the intention of the forum was to have a non-partisan event at which both the Republican and Democratic candidates would meet and directly interact with voters in a relaxed and forthright manner.

Unfortunately, the Republican candidates have declined to attend and so the forum, to be moderated by Croton resident and distinguished broadcast journalist Paul Loewenwarter, will now feature Rick Olver and Ann Gallelli alone. It is regrettable that the Republicans declined since the only other such opportunity; the League of Women Voters debate usually held at the Municipal Building, may not take place this year.

We supporters of Rick and Ann are eager for residents to hear what they have to say. It’s our hope that the Republican candidates will change their minds and attend on March 8th so that voters can exchange views and ideas with all the candidates and truly make an informed choice at the polls on March 18th.

— Paul Rolnick

On February 27, 2008 6:28 PM, KWilly said:

Correction: I meant Lincoln-DOUGLAS

On February 27, 2008 3:38 PM, KWilly said:

One of the cornerstones of our Democracy is that we have elections. In order to make sure we are informed when we make our selections on who is best suited to represent us, we need to have the information available on where the candidates stand. The best way to know where our candidates stand, and why, is to have a debate. What if there were no Lincoln-Sherman debates? What if there were no Nixon-Kennedy debates? These are all defining moments in American history. Here are some thoughts I had about the fact that we might not have a debate:

1) The Republicans went on the attack against Rick Olver because he hasn’t been involved in Croton Government. One of the reasons cited was that they don’t know his positions. What better way to find this out than to have a debate?

2) On the campaign trail and in public appearances before this race, Joann Minett has been very vocal about quality of life issues. Republican campaign literature mentions that Ms. Minett and Joe Streany want to keep tax increases low. Ms. Minett has been a strong supporter of the Mayor on the Community Center issue. She needs to answer how much the Community Center should cost and how does she plan on lowering the cost of a proposed one? It’s one thing to play election games with the Community Center issue; it’s another thing for after three years since the idea has been proposed to have a solid idea on how she plans on having a Community Center while keeping taxes low.

3) None of the candidates have yet to say publicly how we should select our next Village Manager.

4) Three years ago when the Republicans campaigned, one of their planks was “Open Government”. Government is not open if the candidates aren’t open to publicly debating the Democrats.

5) Are the Republicans afraid of debating the Democrats because they know that Ann Gallelli and Rich Olver know their stuff?

6) Most voters pay closer attention at election time to Croton politics than during the rest of the year. The debate is the most important way to get information about the election.

7) Bill Clinton in the 1992 Presidential election brought the idea that, in order for someone to run for Congress, he or she should be required to debate. Too bad we did not adopt this idea for America or for Croton Elections.

Kevin W. Davis

On February 27, 2008 11:59 AM, weewill said:

The refusal by the Republican candidates to attend the Grill the Candidates Forum on March 8th is very sad and I believe does not bode well for promises of open government and exchange of ideas.

The League of Women Voters will NOT be hosting their usual candidates’ debate this year. This typically has been one of only a few opportunities for candidates to answer resident’s questions directly.

Another such opportunity has been at the interviews conducted by the editorial staff at the Journal News. Based on those personal interviews, the staff collectively endorses the two candidates they find most qualified.

Unfortunately for reasons unknown, Ms. Minett declined to attend those interviews as well.

On February 27, 2008 10:33 AM, waffels said:

I could not agree more. This is absolutely unacceptable for a small village election. The Democratic party would be foolish not to push this issue with the voters. What could they be afraid of, if the gazette would do it’s job they should find out why this is the case and let the village know. What exactly is their reason, does anyone know. Joe Streany is a Schmidt republican. Nice guy but if he aligns himself with the idiots of Crotons Republican party he’s scary. Joanne Minett is just one of the party idiots and needs to be exposed for that.

On February 27, 2008 9:43 AM, Devil's Advocate said:

I am not surprised. Any debate would expose the Republican candidates lack of credentials. This is really unacceptable and the Democrats should use every media outlet available to them (newspapers, blogs, advertisement, etc.) to draw attention their unwillingness to communicate their personal positions on the issues before the election.

This is like refusing to take a breath analysis when pulled over for DUI, by doing so you are presumed guilty. In the case of the Republican “candidates”, by declining to debate, are presumed guilty of not being remotely qualified for serving as trustee.


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