A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!
Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of Teddy Roosevelt, had an embroidered pillow on her settee that said "If you haven't got anything good to say about a person, come sit next to me."
I was going to analyze the candidates' website vision statements. But there are no rewards in blogdom for doing the hard work, so do your own! Plus I'm feeling cross. So tonight is take no prisoners night.
Wauwatosa mayoral candidates Jill Didier and Jerry Stepaniak are both decent and competent people, so the targets and wounds, if any, will be small.
The first clay pigeon: Thursday night's "debate" at Tosa East. Kudos to the students for getting involved and being young and serious and idealistic.
(Pull!) Lukewarms to the others involved in planning the forum. They did a nice job of nurturing the students. But with a few exceptions, the questions asked were the same old questions. The answers were the same old answers. The format was the same old format. No one challenged or pressed the candidates to expand on or clarify earlier statements. There was no debate. Only one audience question was permitted, a snoozer at that.
(Pull!) Summing up the candidates in five words each: Didier--passionate; substance not so much. Stepaniak--substance; passionate not so much.
(Pull!) The "vision thing" in three words each: Stepaniak--big, not focused. Didier--small, adjective-dependent. (Hers is a "bright" vision.)
(Pull!) The voters: Conservatives figure people won't bother to check the facts and are seldom wrong about that. Liberals figure people will come to the "right" conclusion if you lay out the facts for them and are usually wrong about that.
(Pull!) What's changed since last month: almost nothing.
- Stepaniak has allowed Didier to frame the issues, placing crime about all. His strength is redevelopment and strategic (and occasionally imaginative) investment for future dividends, not putting on the crime-fighter's cape. I guess many find "crime's our number one priority" comforting--especially if they don't bother too much about the hows of fixing it. (Didier plans to heal all through "communication," while Stepaniak will lean on block watch captain recruits. His strongest idea, camera surveillance, gets no response from the audience.)
- Didier acknowledged that the state needs to take a role in smoking ban legislation to create an even playing field, an idea she previously scoffed at.
(Pull!) A couple weeks ago, I asked both candidates to respond to one question for this blog. It went something like this:
People only remember one or two things about past mayors. At the end of your term in office, what two accomplishments will be your legacy, and how will you have accomplished them? And what two issues that are important today will you be willing to put aside to focus energy and resources on the most important aspects?
Those answers, I figured, would help me understand the candidates' real visions. Thursday, Didier mentioned that she got the question but didn't have time to respond. I appreciate that acknowledgment. Stepaniak never responded in any way. By last week, I was already too bored to follow up. (I also put myself on the mailing lists of both candidates and have received two messages from Didier, none from Stepaniak. What's with that?)
Finally, unasked advice to the candidates:
(Pull!) Jerry, pick your spots and sell 'em! I'm already a believer, but you are making me forget in what!
(Pull!) Jill, if you try to follow through on your promises to listen to everyone all the time, you'll go mad. Plus you'll have to actually do it. Make sure that you listen to people who don't agree with you more than those who do.
There now. A little raw meat and a nap should fix what's ailing me.