I went to the candidate’s forum at the Carver Center last week and heard most of the candidates for council and school board speak. Today’s Diary is about council, especially council-at-large candidates, who are on Democratic party ballots at every Norristown polling place. (Republicans, you can still cast a write-in vote.)
1. If I have a problem in my neighborhood, can I get hold of my council rep or one of the council-at-large reps? Does action follow my communication or do I just get unreasonable excuses? (I’m willing to consider reasonable explanations, but I can also recognize a run-around when I hear it.)
2. Does my council rep or any of the others make any kind of effort to communicate or get to know their constituents even when we don’t have a specific complaint? (ie, well-publicized Town Hall meetings, social media communications, televised meetings, etc.) Do they show up at town events? Do they make an effort to update us on big projects? (And personally, I prefer honest updates from the reps themselves, not dog-and-pony shows from developers where questions and concerns are never addressed.)
3. Do my council reps ask questions at their meetings? Do they make an effort to educate the public about what they’re voting on each month? I want council reps who don’t simply allow non-elected municipal employees to dictate policy and tell them how to vote, but who understand the issues themselves and make up their own minds.
That said, here are the Democratic candidates for Council-at-Large (In alphabetical order, to be fair) and what they said at the forum. Voters will choose up to 2 reps from a field of 5, who’ll go on to November’s election. Anyone, Republican or Democrat, can write in candidates. Just make sure you spell the names right.
There you have it. Remember that Council members-at-Large represent you as much as your ward representative. Sometimes the at-large reps may even be easier to get hold of. So choose carefully.
Just a quick note about other council seats. Sondra Fisher Sanders, Ward 1 rep, is running on the Democratic ticket unopposed (she didn’t come to the forum). Valerie Scott Cooper, the current Ward 3 rep, is being challenged by Leigh Peoples. Leigh didn’t come to the forum and I couldn’t find any info about her online.
I'll post about the School Board candidates in a few days.
Please share this information with other residents. To see your sample ballot for next Tuesday go to this link.