The Mayoral Forum Monday night was well attended with estimates of the crowd varying from 65-100 in the house. Dan Hinkel represented the Gazette, Kelly the Review and WCLO News had a microphone onstage as well. The panel was made up of Chris Eager, Nancy Grieve-Shannon and David Ross. Joe Decker moderated the evening's program.
Opening Remarks: I will report to the best of my notes. Assume, please that some things will be paraphrased.
Karen: Thanked those in attendance. Acknowledged that audience was looking for a sense of who the candidates are and how they will comport themselves, how they will act in office. Three challenges facing Evansville; industrial development, Main St, rebuilding and Property Tax burden. Proclaimed herself a supporter of the business community.
Sandy: Opened with a reminiscence of going to school in the McKenna building, much the same opening as at the Bauer House. Stressed her leadership style. Three pronged preparation;attended 60 city meetings to learn about issues, 80 class hours of Public Mgmt classes, and door-to-door campaigning to talk to residents. "Government is owned by its citizens." "Embrace and channel change that is already on the doorstep." Partnerships and a unified vision.
Question 1) How does history interact with changes of the present and future? How does your personal history help you meet the needs of newcomers as well as established residents.
Sandy: Protect what's important. Preserve history. Must cherish the past.
Karen: Family is everything, Make changes for my children.
Question 2) 2007 Summer construction challenges. What specific help for downtown businesses.
Karen) My history as a Project Mgr for Mindspring will only help get through this project.
Sandy) We have not undertaken planning-no parking plan-no detours-no signage. Promised a committee to plan as soon as elected.
Karen, rebuttal) Plans are in place. Public Works conducts regular informational meetings. Business input has been sought.
Question 3) What kind of City hall do you want to run?
Sandy) accessible. "The buck stops with the mayor." Mayor as CEO.
Karen) Stressed good working relationship with City Hall agencies through committee work.
Question 4) How can you stabilize property taxes or provide relief.
Both candidates said mayor has little impact on total tax bill and need to work with other agencies to keep bills from growing. Sandy stressed need to channel residential growth and develop industrial growth.
More to follow...