Thursday, April 19, 2012

One man's take on Council interviews

I haven't had the time yet to watch the entire Council interviews yet. However, blog reader M. Colpoys did and provides this insightful evaluation. He was very high on the way kickboxer A.J. Verel and Matt Fisher presented themselves. I agree with him on the absurdity of Darius Pridgen's lead question to all the candidates. He asked each candidate to give the current Common Council a grade. Could you imagine being in an interview, and the man running the interview asks you to grade him and the seven people sitting next to him? How bizarre is he to even ask that question? Did he think anyone was going to give them an honest answer? I would have given them a D- right to their faces. Of course, that's why I'm not a politician...

Watched the whole thing. Verel was clearly the most impressive. Actually answered questions with proposed solutions, rather than platitudes about investing in the district and serving the community. Fischer was a close second, and was my clearcut choice before watching Verel. Verel has an adult's view of what government is meant to be. He talked about encouraging and incentivizing activity rather than just throwing money at problems. He talked about the central role of the body, and not just the multiple pigs at the trough each fighting for their own share that is so pervasive in legislative bodies today. Burke acquitted himself very well, but lacked the depth that Fischer and Verel displayed. Clearly a solid guy with a good message, but not enough. Gartler was pretty weak, and Bain showed nothing but rah, rah spirit and platitudes about hard work. No substantive solutions. All I could think of was Rob Schneider in Water Boy. You can do it!

Where do these council members come from? Pridgen doesn't take the time to meet them individually, and then the only thing he can ask them are two inane questions, one of which is a total set up? Kudos to Burke for being the only respondent to call him out, and with a deft touch as well. You could tell Verel wasn't going to bite on that one either, with his knowing smirk being the initial response. Who the hell is Michael Locurto, and why was he not more engaged? Franczyk was about as patronizing as one could be, while at the same time trying to play gotcha with his trivial questions.

By the way, I have no horse in this race. Don't even live in the district, but obviously have strong ties, which is why I watched. Overall a pretty vapid exercise, with not much meat on the bone. Verel really impressed me, and he obviously cares, based on the commitment he has shown via his involvement in the political process on several fronts. It will be fascinating to see who they pick. The cynic in me says they want someone they can run roughshod over in the budgetary process in the short term. Let the people of the district hash it out after that in November. I hope for better, but after watching that dog and pony show I doubt that will be the case. Oy!

M. Colpoys


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