Originally Published: August 8, 2017 6:01 a.m.
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Courier election coverage:
Here's additional information on council candidates and the proposition 443 pension tax. Also some suggestions, not about specific candidates, but things to consider in their information.
With this column online are the websites of candidates who have one, and links to Courier articles.
If you didn't attend the forums, then there often isn't much to go on. They all want economic growth, they all want to preserve Prescott, etc. It's like being offered vanilla or vanilla.
Some take a clear stand on issues that are decisive for many, like the Big Chino pipeline, or Prop. 443. Other than that it's hard to tell, and some even give evasive answers on those. A few websites give you a little more but here are some pointers.
Some still don't say much, which can be an indicator itself. Presumably candidates have been following city issues and think council should have gone a different direction on some things, or it hasn't tackled problems or options they think it should. Shouldn't that be clear in what they say? Why else would they run? Either they really don't have much to offer, or hope to hide their intentions until elected. Even if they think the council has been doing great and they just want to offer their turn as service, then that should be clear. Some come close to saying that, and some seem purposely vague.
Some of the old workhorses are just that. Some work hard at it for not much pay, know how things work and the history of issues, and are good for stability. Sometimes they're also dead wrong. In one of the Courier Q&A pieces there was a suggestion that growth can help pay for things like open space. That may be, but pursuing growth for the sake of what it brings city coffers creates problems.
Having someone as mayor who has just the right experience would be smart, but for the other seats maybe some fresh blood would be good. Only some seats are up for election, so there will be continuity. Some fresh faces offer the possibility of very long-term, dedicated, involved citizens. We do want more than just the oldsters to feel they're part of Prescott, right?
Beware of slick PR. Good PR can show someone is organized. Over-the-top PR makes me nervous. Especially if their shortage of details leaves you with little idea of what they're so intent on doing. PR that seems repackaged from some Congressional campaign looks as out of place as a city-slicker running for herd inspector. It's just the folk here in Prescott deciding. It's just a city office. Who are they under all that big city PR? And what do they want with the office?
I hate sales taxes because they hit low incomes harder. The state, though, seems to have successfully blocked every other option for the pension debt. We can pray for the state to do something, but even that would still need to be paid somehow, and the police and fire personnel have already offered to compromise, and the city would still have old debt specific to it. One option is to get the ball rolling on paying down, and if the miracle happens then the tax ends automatically, as is written into it.
Tom Cantlon is a local business owner and writer and can be reached at comments at tomcantlon.com.