Filed for publication with the Mirror
Dear Mary Ruth (Snyder, Executive Director, CR Chamber of Commerce),
As a senior, in Campbell River, I am still very cautious to be in situations where crowds are a factor, so it was incredibly helpful to be able to access every debate for mayor, council and school board, via video. It was also helpful that the chamber had them available on their website so we could view them more than once if need be.
As c0-sponsors of the debates, I also have to thank the C.R. Mirror and especially the Tidemark Theatre for holding the debates in the theatre venue, as they do each year. I just wanted to let you all know how much it’s appreciated.
I especially wanted to congratulate you, Mary Ruth, on the excellent job you did as moderator. You had some unexpected situations that you handled exceptionally well, very calmly, but firmly. You are very good at your job and kept every one of the debates flowing nicely and within the allotted time. You were extremely patient and very fair to everyone. The American debates could really use your expertise, not that I’m suggesting you go there – it’s just so refreshing watching you handle everything with decorum. I really do feel your demeanor set the tone and most candidates followed your lead. It was wonderful to see how much the candidates showed respect and courtesy to each other as you did to them.
Being able to actually watch the debates, rather than just read their comments, made it so much easier to decide on the best candidates. Tone of voice, expression and demeanor bring a whole different aspect to the words spoken as opposed to written. This was the best experience I’ve had making a decision on who to vote for. I really felt confident that I’d made the right choices.
One thing I’d love to see happen is those who got in, will encourage and invite those who didn’t, to get involved in committees that could benefit from their individual expertise. In the council debates, there were several mentions of different committees that are developed to help with ideas and new ways to solve specific concerns in dealing with the various issues. I was impressed with the expertise of many of the candidates and not all in the same field. There is definitely a huge benefit to being able to access their knowledge. They have already committed to helping by running as a candidate, which shows they’re interested in helping the city develop and grow in the right direction, so why not include them in the process as consultants. Some of the candidates for mayor could definitely be valuable to the process. I hope they’re included somehow.
Thank you so much for a marvelous and refreshing experience.