Residents came out early to meet the candidates

25 Feb

Open Party candidates Gerard Ippolito, Jr., John Cahill and Darrell Byerts

Last weekend provided an excellent opportunity to find out more about the candidates running in next month’s Webster village election. Candidates from both parties made themselves available to the public Saturday morning, fielding questions and talking about the issues.

The first event, and the bigger of the two, was a breakfast hosted by the Open Party at the Atlantic Restaurant on Ridge Road across from Schroeder High School. About 50 supporters paid $8 a plate for breakfast and a chance to meet with Open Party candidates John Cahill, running for mayor, and  Darrell Byerts and Gerard Ippolito Jr., running for trustees.

Beginning about a half hour after the breakfast, incumbent candidates Mayor Peter Elder, and Trustees Dave Kildal and Christine Reynolds were holding court across town at Barry’s Old School Irish in the village, buying coffee and shaking hands with anyone who wanted to stop in to chat. That event attracted about 30 residents.

Incumbents Dave Kildal, Christine Reynolds and Peter Elder

The coincidental timing of the two events was unfortunate for anyone who really wanted to get some quality time with all the candidates and dig more deeply into the issues. As it was, I think the only people who scurried to make both events were the local media.  For me, that meant having to cut out of the breakfast and head to the village before I heard all of the Open Party candidates’ prepared statements, which is something I was hoping to do.

Events like these are very important to help voters educate themselves. Fliers and yard signs, letters to the editor and print advertisements are all well and good, but voters need the chance to formulate their own questions and follow up on the information they’re being presented in political materials.  Meet-and-greets like these are a great way to accomplish that, and I hope others are planned in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, I encourage you to ask them all some questions through me.

A few days ago I posted this invitation on my blog Facebook page:  If you could ask any of the candidates a question (or two), what would it be?  Send me your questions, I’ll choose the best ones and present them to the candidates. Then I’ll run their answers in my blog.  Email your questions to missyblog@gmail.com.

 

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