4th District Supervisor Candidate Discussion

Save the Mesa, a local no growth activist group based in South San Luis Obispo County has announced that it intends to sponsor a Board of Supervisor candidate forum. The announcment was released via an email announcement to the Nipomo Community Yahoo egroup, and I reprint it below, along with my follow up email asking for a clarification about the fact the candidiates are apparently getting the questions in advance of the forum:

It’s not my press release. I was asked to put it on the community
e-group. From what I understand, yes, the candidates will have the
questions in advance, identical to the Lenthall/Andreen Forum in 2004.
For more details contact Marianne at the phone number given.

Ed Eby

On Mar 21, 2006, at 4:14 PM, NipomoLaw@aol.com wrote:

> Ed,
>
> Please clarify what you mean by “Candidates will be asked questions
> prepared for them in advance, and a question and answer period will
> follow.” Does this mean that the candidates are going to be given all
> the questions they will be asked in advance of this forum?
>
> Regards,
>
> Guy Murray
> Nipomo News
>
> —–Original Message—–
> From: edeby93444
> To: NipomoCommunity@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 21:35:13 -0000
> Subject: [NipomoCommunity] BOS Candidate Forum
>
> Save the Mesa and co-sponsor, Nipomo Parks Conservancy, are presenting
> a Board
> of
> Supervisors Candidate Forum on April 22 from 1:30-3:30 PM at the Nipomo
> Community
> Service District building at 148 Wilson St. in Nipomo.
>
> Candidates Katcho Achadjian, Judith Wirsing, and Chris McSweeney have
> filed to
> run for
> 4th District Supervisor, representing Nipomo, Oceano, Halcyon, Arroyo
> Grande and
> part of
> southern San Luis Obispo in the Edna Valley area. Candidates will be
> asked
> questions
> prepared for them in advance, and a question and answer period will
> follow. The
> forum
> will be videotaped and replayed on local cable channel 21.
>
> Katcho Achadjian, the incumbent, has been a member of the Board of
> Supervisors
> since 1998.
>
> Judith Wirsing has been a member of the Nipomo Community Services
> District Board
>
> of Directors since 2000. She is a Nipomo resident and owns a small
> business in
> Grover
> Beach.
>
> Chris McSweeney is a Cypress Ridge resident and a local sales
> representative.
>
> Questions involving the forum maybe directed to Marianne Buckmeyer at
> 489-8384.

I applaude Save the Mesa for sponsoring a candidate forum; but, question the wisdom of providing the candidates the questions in advance of the forum. It’s a bit like giving the high school seniors the answers to the high school exit exam before the test, then allowing them to graduate because they’ve passed the test.  This will clearly provide an advantage to the candidates who do not have as good a grasp on local county issues as those who do.  I don’t think it allows the general public as good an insight into the candidates’ ability to interact with the public or think and analyze issues as they are presented on the spot.  I hope other forums and more true “debates” between the candidates will be available to the public.

Regardless, note that the date, time and location of this candidate forum will be Saturday, April 22, 2006 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., at the NCSD building located at 148 S. Wilson, Nipomo, CA.

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