We’re a week out from our Town Council and mayoral election, so I’d like to pass along this handy voting guide for you. Here’s a thumbnail sketch of each candidate. Take it with you into the voting booth if you’d like.
Town Council candidates (vote for two)
William Jefferson: If we want a philsopher-king on the council, he’s the guy.
James Hazel: “I’m young, I’m inexperienced, I deserve your vote!”
John Sentz: “I’m old, I’m experienced, I deserve your vote!”
Erin Scroggins: “I’m for families!”
Jenn Daniels: “I’m really for families!!!”
Joan Krueger: “I’m the incumbent; let me correct what Mr. Scroggins just said…”
Lonnie Stradling: “Anyone seen my campaign signs?”
You might have noticed Mrs. Daniels and Mr. Scroggins both emphasize they will be voices for families here in Gilbert. Do they believe families have been ignored? Who knows, since they never quite explain what they mean by their claim.
And that’s been the problem with the council candidates’ forums; with the exceptions of Ms. Krueger and Mr. Sentz, the candidates have been pretty vague about what they’d do in office. A lot of glittering generalities, a lot of “I’m for mom, apple pie, and the American way” sentiment, but specifics? Not so much.
Steve Berman: “I’m the mayor and I’ve done a heck of a job … except for any problems our town has had. In which case, I’m just one of seven votes on the Council.”
Don Skousen: “I’ve been here forever, I know everyone, I’ve worked everywhere. Did I mention I know everyone?”
Adam Turner: “Teamwork .… what was the question?”
John Lewis: “I have the most campaign signs in town, which means I win, right?”
Eric Hurley: “Hey, don’t confuse me with James Hazel!!”
Dave Petersen: “I use YouTube and robocalls, which means I am the perfect combination of 21st century campaigning and 19th century ideas!”
The mayoral forums have pretty much become debates between Mayor Steve Berman and the best-funded challenger, John Lewis. It’s clear that one thinks the other is the guy to beat. But in the mix is Don Skousen, who’s pretty plain-spoken for a politician. Which can be jarring. But in a good way.
So there’s your list. You decide which three folks you want as council members and mayor. But before you do, you should take a minute and admire these men and women for what they’ve volunteered to do: put their views out there for us to examine. They have entered into what Teddy Roosevelt called the “arena,” that public place where people try to make a difference, where they must put up with schmoes like me taking our shots at them. Roosevelt’s right; “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”
And despite whether we agree with them or not, we should thank these folks for their enthusiasm, for their believing they can make a difference.
Mike McClellan is a resident of Gilbert.