Friday, July 22, 2011
Nora Community Council Provides Excellent Forum for Candidates; Too Bad Ballard, Malone, Rivera Missed It
Let's get this out of the way. All the Democrats invited to participate at the Nora Northside Community Forum were there on Thursday night playing to a packed house at St. Luke's United Methodist Church. Even Councillor Joanne Sanders, who is not running for reelection was there as was Prosecutor Terry Curry and Clerk Beth White. Who wasn't there? At-Large Councillors Angel Rivera and Barbara Malone and, the big man himself, Mayor Greg Ballard.
It would have been one of the first chances to see Ballard and his main challenger, Democrat Melina Kennedy, side-by-side. Kennedy instead got to score some easy and unchallenged points on the incumbent. While Chris Bowen, the Libertarian candidate, also hacked away at the Ballard legacy.
Ballard, on the face of it, could get a pass for missing this event. He had a Mayor's Night Out scheduled for opening night of the Marion County Fair on the other side of town, but I'm told that event was actually scheduled AFTER the Nora Northside Community Council was set. The NNCC even apparently attempted to change the date and work with the Mayor, but, as Ruth Hayes, longtime President of the organization said, "The Mayor declined our invitation to appear tonight."
Even if the Mayor gets a pass, where were Councillors Malone and Rivera and candidate Michael Kalscheur? Poor Jackie Cissell did her best to hold the line for her Republican At-Large ballot-mates.
The absence was well-noted. The Nora Northside Community Council, I'm told, is an organization that is non-partisan but whose membership leans Republican. With the three countywide officeholders on the Republican ticket this fall to skip the event, it could look like a slap in the face to those supporters expecting to see them.
Makes you wonder...do they think this is hopeless or do they think this is in the bag?
So, the attendance list included:
Democrat for Mayor, Melina Kennedy and Libertarian for Mayor, Chris Bowen
District 2 Councillor Angela Mansfield and her Republican challenger Anthony Simons
District 3 Councillor Ryan Vaughn and his Democratic challenger Len Farber
and District 4 Councillor Christine Scales and her Democratic challenger Kostas Poulakidas.
All four Democratic At-Large candidates, Zach Adamson, John Barth, Pam Hickman, and Leroy Robinson were there with At-Large Libertarian Bill Levin and At-Large Republican Jackie Cissell.
My thoughts on the forum will follow under a separate headline later today.