On Tuesday, Oct. 17, was the Black Diamond Maple Valley Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum, where the Black Diamond candidates for mayor and two City Council positions had the opportunity to talk with the citizens of Black Diamond, and to answer questions put to them by these citizens.
This forum is meant to help the citizens to compare the candidates side-by-side to help them decide who they wanted for mayor and council representatives.
All but two candidates showed up.
My hats off to the four who did show up. Carol Benson for mayor (running against Judy Baxley), Melissa Oglesbee for council (running against Michelle Young), and opposing candidates Ed Hanrahan and Erin Rose Stout. These four showed up so that they can face each other and the voting public to answer questions and give their views on city matters.
Apparently the other two, despite what their combined statement said, felt that this forum and the citizens’ time were not important enough for them to make an appearance.
Is this an indication of how they will work with the Chamber of Commerce in the future, by not attending functions they have been invited to because they believe the Chamber represents and is for area growth? Growth is going to happen, whether we like it or not, and whether or not they attend functions like this Candidates Forum. Wouldn’t it be better for them to show up and express their views and show where they stand?
They said they are more than willing to talk with citizens, but yet they ignore the one and only forum that was available to the citizens to meet face to face with all the candidates. Why not face the candidates that they are running against and give us, the voting public, a chance to see who would best represent us in a public forum? Being able to see both candidates for a position, side-by-side, is immensely useful to the citizens to be able to see who they feel would be the best fit for the position in question.
I do not understand why anyone who wants to be representing us, the people, in an elected position would ignore such an opportunity such as this forum to show what they are about.