Tuesday night heralded the kickoff of the major campaigning streak of local candidates with the Chamber of Commerce’s Town Council Candidates Forum. This year’s forum, as well as the entire way that candidates are campaigning, stepped into the 21st century with the utilization of social networking.
Not only was the Forum streamed live over the Internet on the Town’s website, but at least six of the eight Council candidates are using their own websites and Facebook pages to reach out to the community.
“It’s the easiest way to keep in touch with people,” candidate Dawn Vereuck told The Sheet, adding the technology transcends generations.
“There is no waste, and it opens dialog because people are able to send an e-mail rather than call,” she said.
Kirk Stapp, one of the candidates not using Facebook, felt it was too vitriolic. He is, however, consulting with someone to see how he can use the Internet to reach out in other ways, and is also compiling an e-mail list to use for sending out his campaign materials.
During the Forum, moderator Tom Cage also encouraged individuals watching from home to e-mail questions they had for the candidates.
In recognition of Mammoth’s technological maturity, The Sheet will now report on the Forum in Twitter fashion, giving you short Tweets of what the candidates had to say on a handful of the questions they were asked. Questions similar to those asked in The Sheet’s questionnaire last week have been omitted. (Note: The Sheet’s Publisher Jack Lunch always tweets during Town Council meetings, and also tweeted during the Forum. You can follow what
You can follow what he’s tweeting about at www.thesheetnews.com, under Sheet Tweets)
What follows are actual responses from the candidates shortened to demostrate what they would have looked like as tweets.
Cage asks for opening statements
Sharon Clark: Our current government is dysfunctional
Dawn Vereuck: Business owner… drop in at Elegant Bath if you have questions
Rick Wood: Election is about leadership, competence and experience…
Tony Barrett: Most of my life has been an open book, experience is something I possess
Matthew Lehman: For those of you avoiding the computer just call me
Kirk Stapp: On Council from 1986-2008…
John Eastman: Known for common sense and being fiercely independent
Allen Blumer: Enhance our community and preserve our heritage
If elected would you consider contracting with the County for law enforcement in Town?
Blumer: It might help with the transportation issues to Bridgeport
Eastman: Would be supportive of doing the analysis to see if it’s a good idea
Wood: It is not without precedent
Stapp: Do analysis
Barrett: If the County has money to spend with us then let them
Vereuck: PD has a $5 million budget… cut costs but don’t cut public safety
Lehman: We are staffed for the heaviest parts of the season… create efficiences
Clark: With Chief Schienle retiring we have the opportunity to explore
What is your perceived issue with the Town Manager that caused you to rank him so low in The Sheet’s questionnaire?
Eastman: Cannot answer because he currently sits on Council
Wood: The Town Manager hasn’t been effectively led
Stapp: I haven’t been in closed session to hear what he’s been asked to do
Barrett: Town Manager should say he needs more direction
Vereuck: Lack of leadership
Lehman: Ranked him middle of the road, average
Clark: Told as a Planning Commission that staff needed to be able to talk freely among themselves… sent up red flags… when I decided to run [*Addendum: At the April 28 Planning Commission meeting, Commissioner Elizabeth Tenney let Clark know how she felt about this statement as well as Clark’s statement that the General Plan was not being followed. During her Commissioner’s report, Tenney said that Clark’s comments were very serious charges against staff and the Planning Commission. Clark’s comment revolved around an occasion where she was told by staff that she could not attend a meeting with the Water District. Community Development Director Mark Wardlaw explained on Wednesday that the meeting had been one between himself, the Town Manager and MCWD’s General Manager Greg Norby to discuss how to communicate better. Clark had been looking for answers to water questions regarding Old Mammoth Place, and therefore her attendence at the meeting would not have been beneficial, Tenney stated Wardlaw had explained. “She [Clark] seemed to be saying that staff was hiding things,” Tenney told The Sheet. “I felt that my intergrity was being questioned as was the intergrity of the Planning Commission and staff.” Clark did not responsed to Tenney’s comments according to fellow Commissioner Jay Deinken.]
Blumer: He’s had a tough job with the alphabet soup
Who’s been your biggest donor?
All but Vereuck and Lehman are supporting their campaigns on their own
Why is it so hard to understand the budget?
Stapp: Long-term financial issues are not being taken care of
Barrett: Bring in an expert, hire a true Finance Director
Lehman: Support a finance committee… start at the root of the problem
Clark: Project revenues conservatively
Blumer: For what you get paid on Town Council if you actually read the budget you’re getting about 15 cents an hour
Eastman: Give the public a snapshot of revenues and expenditures
Wood: Not transparent… when it’s not it’s easy to hide the ball
What would you do with the Town’s projected surplus this year?
Barrett, Vereuck, Clark, Eastman, Stapp, Wood: REU
Lehman, Blumer: DMO and marketing
Would you support a D.A.R.E. officer at the schools?
Vereuck: Yes, invest in education
Lehman: In favor for a number of reasons not just D.A.R.E.
Blumer: Supports one full-time
Eastman: We can have our cake and eat it too, use abundance of officers in slack time
Wood: Yes as long as budget doesn’t increase
Stapp: Not full-time and just at elementary and middle schools
Barrett: Elementary and middle schools… have County help pay
Is the General Plan being implemented in the spirit the community expected, or adhered to at all?
Wood: Only had one major development since the approval so it’s tough to tell
Stapp: Breakdown with policies
Barrett: Convoluted like our budget… never going to make everyone happy
Vereuck: Yes… due diligence was done with Old Mammoth Place
Lehman: Generally speaking spirit is being followed
Clark: No we have not followed spirit
Blumer: No development on the horizon, nothing over three stories
Eastman: Balance the triple bottom line of social, economic and environmental… but people value the three pieces differently
How rigidly should we stick to our PAOT of 52,000? What if it went up to 62,000 just about eight days per year?
Stapp: Have to hold tightly to 52,000 because of air and water quality issues
Barrett: Will be little development in next 5-7 years so stick with 52,000 for now
Vereuck: Keep to 52,000 but don’t be fixated
Lehman: If we build out to accommodate 62,000 what do we do with the stuff the rest of the year?
Clark: 52,000 is absolute… 35,000 is peak now and it’s crowded
Blumer: Agrees with Clark
Wood: Number doesn’t matter, it’s the capacity
We’ve been talking about midweek and shoulder season business for 35 years, what are you ideas to actually capture that business?
Clark: DMO, develop trails, develop opportunities for people to do stuff
Blumer: More than just skiing and pub crawling…
Eastman: Measure U and air service
Wood: Air service
Stapp: Fix the poor experiences first
Barrett: Revitalize the current business economy so they can stay open
Vereuck: Realize tourist base is not limited to skiing
Lehman: Mammoth Track project
Vereuck: Running because I love this community… success of Mammoth directly relates to the success of businesses
Eastman: Change and new blood only words… new members naïve and inexperienced, don’t have luxury of waiting for them to become leaders
Lehman: Politicians are like diapers, they need to be changed regularly and often for the same reasons
Blumer: New blood is needed… committed to development only being three stories tall
Wood: If you don’t have passion for something life isn’t worth living and if you have passion for something you better go after it
Barrett: I’ve learned from my mistakes and I won’t repeat them… wants to listen to community
Clark: Town has conflicting desires and needs… need to be small business friendly
Stapp: Currently there is language that leads nowhere and policies that are out of order… not good at glad-handing people but is good at the details and doing the homework