Friday, September 22, 2006

Tonight's Mayoral Forum

Just got back home from the candidate forum at San Jose High School. In addition to the mayor's race, the two candidates for district 3 council seat were also present at this forum, Sam Liccardo and Manny Diaz. Liccardo and Diaz went first, with the two mayoral candidates following.

This debate was sponsored and organized by district 3 neighborhood groups and was moderated by the LWV. I would guess that there were about 200 chairs set up, and almost all of them were filled, and the walls were lined with people standing up. The format for the evening was that each candidate was allowed a two minute introduction, and then each of the neighborhood groups asked the candidates a question and the candidates had two minutes to answer the question. After the neighborhood groups asked their questions, written questions from the audience were read, and the candidates had a minute to answer.

Overall I would have to say that both Reed and Chavez did well, each has their strong points, and they both had weaknesses as well. Chavez concentrated on the downtown area too much, yes I know this was a downtown forum and she is the councilperson from that area, but I think she could have broadened her answers to include other parts of San Jose. Reed continued to push his talking points, to the degree that he might want to reconsider how he can work them in a few less times. Not every question relates back to talking points.

Both candidates came up short on a few of the questions, espeically a question that asked them to specify how they would come up with funding for gang prevention and intervention. Reed's answer was that he wouldn't waste what we already have, which doesn't really answer how you find the funding for these other needed programs (granted, wise fiscal management will save money, but it certainly will not make up funding shortfalls). Chavez stated that she would work to make sure that the city would fund those programs that were proven to be effective.

The main issues raised at the forum were crime prevention, traffic, historic preservation, affordable housing, education and coyote valley development. Both candidates wanted to make sure that coyote valley would not see development without either the existing triggers being met or making sure that the community has the opportunity to participate in any general plan changes.

Overall, with the exception of one small barb by Reed, the forum was civil and stayed on topic and flowed smoothly. If you were looking for fireworks, they didn't happen tonight. Both Reed and Chavez are good public speakers and they are well versed in the workings of government.

Was there a winner tonight? You bet, the voters! All those who took the time to participate by attending this forum won the ability to make an informed decision in November.


At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jacquie, Congrats on an unbiased post.

Personally I thought Chavez was going to do better on her home turf, especially since the majority of the crowd were her supporters.

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Larry Hughes said...

Very nice article. How do the candidates account for dealing with "crime prevention"? I am very interested in hearing what their plans are. Unfortunately, the focus of the electoral debate thus far has been ethics and money. Trust has become the central issue of the campaign. It is pretty unfortunate that downtown business interests have dominated the issue scope of the election leaving people who are actually affected by education, crime prevention, and housing outside of the discussion. It is disappointing that Cindy has sunk to COMPAC's level and played the financial game. I guess that's the reality we live in where the wealthy can drop $160,000 on independent expenditure attacks and control the focus of the media.

At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how the hell do you find out about these debates? i haven't seen any publicity on the candidate's website or in the papers. let us know when the next one is.

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous steve Y. said...

No coverage of the debates on any website. No coverage of the debates in the Mercury News.

Why when candidates make allegations toward each other do they get press, but when they wanna actually talk bout their issues nobody gives a f***?

At 11:30 AM, Blogger SanJoseLady said...

Anonymous: Both Cindy and Chuck have these forums listed on their website in their events sections. Cindy Chavez and Chuck Reed

I will try to put together a post for Mayor Watch later today or tomorrow that lists all of the upcoming forums.

Larry: Both Reed and Chavez discussed crime prevention, the issue is really funding at this point, as well as the best programs to help address gang issues in our city.

Not sure I understand the rest of your comment on Cindy sinking to COMPAC's level.

Too bad the Mercury didn't cover this debate, it was informative and gave voters an opportunity to really hear Reed and Chavez on the issues that concern all of us.

Thanks for all of the feedback everyone, keep on checking back because we will continue to be the one place that has up to date reports on what is going on.

Enjoy your weekend!


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