Early reports on Thursday’s show-and-tell involving the supervisor candidates indicate it was a typical League of Women Voters production: Polite, eminently fair, but lacking in real substance.
The problem is the format of asking everybody to respond to a set of questions: If you’re a one-issue voter, this can work well if the right question is asked. But if you’re looking for the candidate with the best over-arcing vision of our future, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Then there’s the questions. The candidates were questioned about NID’s response to the drought. Since the Board of Supervisors has no control over NID, the question was hardly relevant. Droughts come and go in California, and the long-term solution to the state’s water problem will come from Sacramento, not the Rood Center.
The LWV format benefits incumbents, because challengers have no real opportunity to call them out for their real or perceived shortcomings. What we need is candidate debates, not q-and-a’s. Otherwise, we distract ourselves with silly debates over the placement of a banner supporting a candidate. If this is what decides elections, then we deserve the winners we get.
As things stand now, Hank Weston appears to be cruising to an easy victory in the Fourth District. The race between incumbent Terry Lamphier and challenger Dan Miller in the Third District boils down to whether we want supervisors’ votes to be 5-0 instead of the current 4-1.
ANOTHER THING: NCTV is unparalleled in its ability to broadcast the lunch breaks at supervisors’ meetings, but apparently couldn’t stir itself to broadcast the LWV forum live. The overflow crowd showed there was plenty of interest in the event. If NCTV is to get the community support it needs to survive, it needs to provide live coverage of events like this.