Sunday, July 27, 2008

Candidates Night

The place was packed. I could afford to be relaxed about the whole event because I'm unopposed in the primary. The date, unfortunately, conflicted with the rehearsal dinner for my brother Chris's wedding, so I was eager to get it done and go down to the dinner at Old Settlers Park. Each candidate was given two minutes to state their reasons for running, qualifications for the office, and their view of the challenges facing our township.

Two minutes was enough time to say that I wanted to serve to support the amazing group of volunteers that make our township run, and that the new zoning ordinance should do more to support "right sized" businesses in our township and that we needed to expand broad band internet to the entire township, and that I was writing about these issues on this blog. Each of the candidates gave their own two minute introduction; the rest of the event was devoted to written questions from the audience.

I had come prepared to talk broadband internet, but the audience's infrastructure questions were all about septic tanks and sewers. That was OK -- as the daughter of a civil engineer who made a career out of designing municipal sewer projects, I was comfortable talking about "after the flush" issues. It's easy to cut to the chase on those issues by pointing out that clean water is a basic requirement for public health.

Many of the questions for the supervisor candidates were centered around challenger Nick Lederle's criticism of what he termed "the runaway growth of township government." One question asked Nick specifically which functions of township government he'd like to get rid of; he answered that the things we were doing already were pretty much OK.

Later, at the rehearsal dinner, my uncle Bryan was not at all surprised that the evening had revolved around questions of basic government and sewers. "Way back when," he intoned in his Retired Park Ranger style, "our first governments were formed when people started living closer together and decided that they couldn't go on just throwing the slops in the streets everyday so they decided to do something about. it." Thinking on it, I realized that there were probably folks way back when who decided that a law against throwing slops in the street was too much government and went to live in a town where they kept throwing the slops in the streets. But those folks aren't our ancestors because they didn't survive the plagues.

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