Political forum: City of Sanford, Town of Broadway

I had the pleasure of playing part host/part audience member at Monday night’s political forum featuring the Sanford City Council and Broadway Town Board.

The nuts and bolts of Monday’s forum — which was hosted by The Herald and Sanford Business & Professional Women — appears in today’s edition of The Herald. What I’m going to talk about is the partisan politics that have appeared in these non-partisan elections.

First off, I’m not really talking about Broadway in this scenario. But in the three elections featured for Sanford (the at-large seat, the Ward 2 seat and the Ward 5 seat), it’s easy to tell where political leanings lie, and you need only look at the similar answers to come to this assessment.

Group 1: supports the business privilege tax, supports the continued city control over the Municipal Golf Course and doesn’t feel the city is “disenfranchised” with voters.
Group 2: opposed to the business privilege tax, is against city control over the Municipal Golf Course and feels voters aren’t always on the same page with the city decisions.

I won’t go into who’s Republican or Democrat in this debate, as, like I said, this is non-partisan. But I do find the following belong to these groups …

Group 1: Linwood Mann (Ward 2), Dan Harrington (Ward 5), and Lora Wright (at-large).
Group 2: Earl Barker (Ward 2), Charles Taylor (Ward 5), and Mike Stone (at-large).

You could see the division following the debate. Mann, Harrington and Wright’s supporters gathered on the left side of the room; Barker, Taylor and Stone’s supporters on the right (take what you will from the directions noted here).

There, of course, is absolutely nothing wrong with this. And just to show you I’m not basing my votes on political leanings, I like candidates in both of these groups, and if I had a vote in each ward, it would reflect this.

Even though this election is non-partisan, a perceived party affiliation is one of the more important things voters are looking for … as is the case with any election. We’re just kidding ourselves to call this “non-partisan.”

FORUM AFTERTHOUGHTS

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Major ‘thanks’ go out to at-large candidate Lora Wright for referring to my blog in one of her answers.
Wright pointed to this blog entry and criticized me for calling her referral to code enforcement a “low blow” to Mike Stone.
I can take the criticism … I was just tickled to get the nod.
I do, however, take umbrage to what I was accused of saying following her comment. I won’t mention it here … but the “alleged comment” I made never happened. I have been supportive of both Lora and Mike during this election season, and I feel I’ve been nothing but fair. But it’s unfair to me to be approached and accused of juvenile name calling.
I hope this gets cleared up.

Barker online
Earl Barker pointed out to me that he has a Web site, something I was not aware of when I wrote my column criticizing candidates for their lack of online presence.
Barker’s Web site, www.earlbarker.com, is actually pretty attractive. He admits it’s new and short on substance, but I really like the effort.
So I do apologize for Barker on this one … and here’s a free nod to his site.

They love Broadway
Candidates Lynn Green, Clem Welch, Woody Beale and David Harrington have one thing in common, they all love Broadway.
And they made this loud and clear during their Town Board forum, each expressing their love for Broadway numerous times.
I thought Beale performed quite well, and Eldridge missed out by not attending in their race for the two-year term.
Welch and Green outperformed Harrington (who seemed uncomfortable) and Bates (who was not present), as both women did their homework and gave impressive answers.

Wildcards
Wrigth and Stone made good use of their wildcards Monday, using their option for a rebuttal back-to-back, to make for one of the highlights of the evening. The only other candidate to use a wildcard was Charles Taylor to ask Harrington why he’s voted about “99 percent” with fellow board member Steve Brewer on many issues. (I don’t know if this number is true, I’m quoting Taylor).

Quote of the night
Gordon Anderson, on his blog, picked Beale’s statement about small town life in Broadway as the top quote:
“I like driving down the street and not having to stop at the stop light. Y’all ought to try it some time.”

That’s all I have tonight. Thanks to the Sanford BPW and Kelly McCracken for stepping in and doing a wonderful job as host. Bill Horner III did a great job of putting things together, and the Civic Center and Chef Paul’s were both flawless in their preparations.

The acoustics in the stage room were great … so great, in fact, people could hear you say words you never even muttered. 😉

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6 thoughts on “Political forum: City of Sanford, Town of Broadway

  1. Speaking of politics, why so many letters to the Ed from the SHEARIN couple/tag team democrats? Are you trying to make up for missing Kirk Smith? Don’t the Shearin’s write to you about ANYTHING else except Pres Bush? Okay we get it already – they hate Bush. Give it a rest.

  2. Mr. Liggett,

    I applaud Mrs. Wright for confronting you, it is just another example of how she will not back down from anyone and will stand up for herself and the citizens of Sanford. As for you being accused of juvenile name calling I think you have already proven yourself guilty of that in this blog “Southern Drawl Democrat”. I hope she took that as a compliment.

  3. Billy, you made mention of me feeling the citizens were not “disenfranchised”with the City. Please check my Q&A. I am the ONE that said many people felt “disengaged ” some even enraged by “politics as usual”,just take a quick read… I think that may be helpful in your comment.

  4. Earl Barker’s website although short on substance is ranking well in searches for “Sanford city council”. I think it says something when only one candidate has a website – many of our politicians are out of touch with the citizens. Too many candidates are focused on the council being a friendly harmony instead of challenging the status quo and moving the city of Sanford forward into the 21st century.

  5. It is very obvious that Mr. Barker is being “fed” from someone else.
    Mr. Liggett noticed his lack of substance early on in the race and since then someone has been obviously holding his hand.

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