Three candidates for mayor, eight for City Council could be a bit much for some to handle. Nobody in town knows all of these people. How on Earth do you decide and make a choice that you will be happy about over the coming four years? No, I’m not going to wade into political waters and tell you who to vote for, or even who I plan to vote for. But I do want to take a shot at answering my own question: “How on Earth do you decide?”
There are a lot of sources for information on these candidates. One of the best is this newspaper, which has had coverage on all the candidates as they announced, and will be covering events concerning the candidates. If you don’t already subscribe, you can have it delivered to your door for just $39 a year or you can see it online. Just go to http://www.bouldercityreview.com and sign on for free, then log in any time to see the latest. Alternatively, if you do Facebook, just befriend Boulder City Review and you will see selections of the best Review coverage throughout the week.
Another Facebook friend you should definitely have is Alan Goya’s Bold Boulder. Live from the Coffee Cup café at 7 a.m. every Monday, it features interesting local guests including such as Suzie Lee (episode 39) when she was running for, and won, our Congressional seat, and Boulder City Mayor Rod Woodbury (episode 43), who is running for another term. City Councilman Warren Harhay (episode 51, et al), another mayoral candidate, is a weekly contributor to this interesting local show. I understand the invite is open to Kiernan McManus, the third candidate for our city’s top office.
The breadth of topics on Bold Boulder is amazing; if you’re interested in this town, you owe it to yourself to become a friend, or have your kid help sign you up. You don’t have to be up at 7 a.m. to enjoy; they have all 57 weekly episodes archived on Facebook. You’ll also find other field trips they covered, e.g. a walking tour of the town’s historic trees with noted historian Dennis McBride, a field trip out to the beautiful canyons of Death Valley and all three nights of the Dam Short Film Festival with close to 1,000 photos posted from that great event (too long to qualify for a dam short film spot of it’s own). Bold Boulder has already hosted several council candidates and the plan is to cover all the candidates so hook up now.
What I try to consider when undertaking to pick my choices are three things:
This isn’t about one issue; it’s a four-year run so figure out which candidates are most likely to make the best choices over the stretch. Even if you’re mad at one for their position on the swimming pool, look at their history of getting the facts and proposing new solutions, e.g. a way to get the swimming pool we need without raising our property taxes.
Who are the most visible and approachable around town? As current mayor, Woodbury serves as Council representative to many regional boards and is widely known around Clark County leadership. Harhay is seen on Bold Boulder, is in ROMEO (Really Old Men Eating Out), Rotary and at almost every city-sponsored event. McManus is especially active in the Boulder City History and Arts Foundation and other significant organizations and events.
Don’t measure their worth by their speaking skills. The most common mistake is to make up your mind in the first three minutes of a talk because of their glibness, or lack thereof. Judge not by the crispness of their rhetoric, but by the freshness of their ideas.
Harhay and McManus are sitting councilmen who will continue in their posts if not elected mayor. If either becomes mayor, then their seat will be filled by vote of the council. Leavitt and Schuman are current council members seeking re-election.
Dave Nelson retired to Boulder City in 2003 after a career with the FICO score company. He is vice president and newsletter editor for the local Sons of Norway.