You know what? Candidates for mayor and City Council are people, no better or worse than any of us. They were not specifically called or chosen by a higher power to run for office. They chose to run, and I’m glad so many are doing it. They’ve made this decision, and I think they should consider what they’re doing from the perspective of a voter, like me, perhaps you as well.
Candidates, please, don’t lie to me. The truth does matter. Don’t say one thing to my face and act the opposite. Actions speak louder than words, but words are serious. Truth exists. If you change your mind about an issue, tell me that, but don’t lie.
If we agree on an issue, please don’t argue with me. No need to attempt to impress me or waste my time with arrogance.
Pay attention to what has gone before you. The past matters and we don’t live in a vacuum, devoid of what went before. If you don’t know how we got to where we are, how will you be able to navigate where we are going?
Boulder City didn’t begin with you or me. Folks without homes came here to find a job and make a new life. They lived in the desert without running water or electricity. This was the experience from which Boulder City grew. How would the original residents of Boulder City view today’s policies? We’ll never know for certain but asking the question could broaden a candidate’s perspective.
Running for office is a community effort. We’re all in this together. It’s not simply your way. It’s our way. You are only as powerful as the voters allow you to be.
Don’t bank on voters being uninformed. There are voters who know a lot more than you might give them credit for. On the flip side, it’s your mission to share facts, not merely opinions, whether well-informed or uninformed. If you don’t know an answer, say so. Let the voter know you will find the answer.
Treat voters with respect. Don’t talk down to them. Learn what issues are important to them. Determine common ground. Their opinion and vote count just as much as yours does.
I want to see all the candidates out in the community spreading their message. If they are out there and/or come to my door, I know they care enough to make time to spend some of it with me. Debates and forums are great, but I want to see a candidate look at me as I ask a question.
The next best thing to debates, forums and in-person communication is email. I haven’t sent any emails to the current candidates running for office, but if I do, I would hope I get answers to all my messages. It is plain, simple courtesy to answer one’s email. When I send an email and get no response, I feel very slighted. It says to me that I don’t rate a response. As a candidate, it’s necessary, in my book, to answer every email. Even check your spam or junk mail in case a message from a voter went there. Don’t ignore folks. If you do, you could very well regret the outcome.
As of Nov. 6, there were 10,788 registered voters in Boulder City, and 7,645 cast ballots. If each candidate spent five minutes with each of those voters, that comes to 637 hours. From Jan. 22, the first day of candidate filing, until April 2, election day, there are 10 weeks or 1,680 hours.
Spending five minutes to talk to each of 7,645 voters, if that many vote, equals almost 38 percent of a candidate’s 10 weeks of campaigning. Is that realistic? Is it possible? Every candidate should consider those questions.
I think every voter should try to talk to each candidate and not wait for them to talk to you. I like to know the person I vote for. Can you know a person’s character in five minutes? Probably not, but you’ll know if they listen and are confident in what they say.
It’s about how much time candidates and voters devote to each other that will determine the next election’s outcome.
Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-339-9082.