Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Last Night Was A Success

The Greensboro Bloggers Candidates' Forum was a success. Back where it all started a little over a year ago, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC-Greensboro. Immediate memories of the first Piedmont Bloggers Conference, and the beginning of the snowball effect for the Greensboro blogging community. Less then two weeks from our Converge South Conference, and yet another milestone for our community. The Candidates' Forum held by and put together(even the questions) by bloggers. Particularly, Seymour Hardy Floyd and Roch Smith Jr.

The moderator for last nights forum was Michael Christopher, and he was brilliant. His spirit lightened the mood and opened up the candidates. Eight candidates to be in fact. All at-large candidates for city council. Three sitting councilmen, Don Vaughan, Florence Gatten and Yvonne Johnson. Five newcomers, Diane Davis, Sandra Anderson, Dave Howerton, Joel Landau and George Subasavage.

I must disclose that I can not vote for city council, because I currently live outside the city limits. My address still says Greensboro, but I am out of the districts for city council. I still have interest in who wins and loses, for Greensboro is my home and I care deeply about what is going on and who is running it.

I must also disclose that I submitted a question that was asked at last nights forum. My question was, "Where do you stand on the Supreme Court ruling on eminent domain?" Two candidates weighed in, first Dave Howerton and then Joel Landau jumped in. Mr Howerton responded with, "I am against it. It was a very bad decision." Joel Landau added," I am also against it and it was a very bad idea." They both gave more in depth responses, but that was the gist of their responses.

The two most disappointing moments of the evening were the Brush Creek pollution question and a question on support for domestic partnerships for city employees who are gay or lesbian. The Brush Creek question was,"The water in Brush Creek, a headwater in Greensboro's drinking supply, was recently tested at twelve times the legal limit for turbidity. Since 1998, Brush Creek has been officially declared as impaired by the state as a drinking water supply and many of Greensboro's other major steams have been classified by the state as impaired for years. What role do you think the city should play in addressing polluted ground water and do you think that role is being adequately filled?" None of the eight candidates, including the three sitting counsel people even knew about Brush Creek. They all agreed it was the councils responsibility to make sure our drinking water is clean and drinkable, but yet no one knew. I have know for months, as has most of the rest of the local blogisphere and our city council didn't know. I was shocked, well not really, but I wish they would have known.

The second disappointing moment of the night came from George Subasavage. The question was, "If elected would you support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens of this city by supporting domestic partner benefits from the city?" Mr Subasavage started his answer with, "That's going to be a hard one for me. I have some difficulties dealing with gay and lesbian activities." He answered no, a non-PC move towards political suicide if I have ever seen one. Especially in a blue county. Maybe if he were in say...Kansas? Then his answer would have won some votes, but not here.

My favorite quote from last night came from Yvonne Johnson about this question, "Do you support the creation of free city-wide wireless Internet zones?" Don Vaughan answered, saying that he didn't think the technology was there to make it cost-effective right now, but down the road in a couple of years, maybe ten years, it is possible. Yvonne jumped in adding, "It wouldn't surprise me if in 5 or 6 years this is the infastructure in most major cities." I can only hope she is right.

If you weren't there you need to surf around and read about it. You truly missed another shining moment in Greensboro for the local blogisphere. Blogsboro we are.
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