It's only 35 days till the election! On August 20, I sent an email to all the mayoral candidates asking a series of questions about professionalism, communication, and character ( Will Palm Spring's Candidates Respond?
Hit link, go to bottom of page). Surely they would to respond to a resident and voter. But if they didn't, what would I think? I admit my letter wasn't a typical letter dealing with a specific issue. As a careered management consultant, I've provided services that assess management candidates. Maybe some thought it better not to participate. Find courage, candidates can't afford to be that fragile! Palm Springs is filled with talented, educated professionals who are watching and have a vote. Here are my thoughts from my limited perspective of emails, forums, news articles, etc. I will respond in alphabetical order. It should be noted that I don't personally know any of the candidates.
Here is a candidate that took my letter seriously, responded quickly and comprehensively. Ms. Battishill clearly articulated her plan for Palm Springs, answering the questions, she showcased intellect, competence, and a passion for Palm Springs. Ms. Battishill responded with great detail which was a little overwhelming, yet a necessary quality for a mayor. Ms. Battishill appears organized and thorough in her bid for office. Her website is very 'user friendly' and extremely comprehensive, a model other candidates could learn from . . . She definitely puts herself out there for the public. She has a very organized campaign, which is important when assessing candidates . . . How do they showcase themselves (might be reflective of how they would showcase the city), do they speak with clarity? If they can't organize or find the resources to organize a quality campaign, how are they going to be at leading city government? She's a strong candidate and has worked very hard at getting to know the public. Quite impressive.
Mr. Cook never responded to my email. That leaves me to only guess why? Mr. Cook was quick to infer in his opening statement at the Chamber of Commerce forum, that a host of city workers and contractual service providers don't do their work, saying it has to be addressed. As I listened, his choosing to 'fault find, shame and blame' was an interesting opening statement. At this point, II have little to no opinion regarding Mr. Cook. The email I sent to him was an attempt to open the door. I haven't located a website, nor have I received any campaign materials. I would welcome an opportunity to know more about him. Any information I have is from the forum and his position comments in The Desert Sun.
At the Chamber of Commerce forum, Mr. Ferra inferred city council don't listen, leaving me believing he would, yet I had no response to my email. I have little information on Mr. Ferra, my impression from the forum is that he is sensitive to residents input and cares about the community. His opening statement at the Chamber forum, he made a quick mention of the 'Brown Act,' but commented, 'whatever it is.' I would think anyone running for city government should become familiar with the Brown Act. It safeguards the public's right to access and participation in government meetings within the State. Overall, I have little information on Mr. Ferra. I haven't located any websites, nor have I received any materials. I would welcome more information and look forward to learning more about his campaign.
Mr. Pougnet said he was pleased to have an opportunity to respond to my email. He was comprehensive in doing so. Mr. Pougnet's response was open and professional, yet personal enough that it allowed me the opportunity to know him better. I got a rich sense of his character, passion and humanity. It is my belief that Mr. Pougnet is weighted with a dual perception. He has experience and knowledge and has lived the reality of being part of the decision making process for Palm Springs government. Yet, Mr. Pougnet is touted by other candidates as yesteryears regime. In his email response, he never addresses that . . . no defensive posturing needed, instead he wrote about his deep appreciation for having the opportunity to serve his family, friends, community and city. I haven't with Mr. Pougnet (other than a handshake). Yet upon completing the email, I was left feeling like I knew him. He took the time to really introduce the person, it was more than just the issues, debates, and creating a political image. He let me see Steve Pougnet. Mr. Pougnet is clearly a strong candidate with the experience of looking at a the bigger picture.
Mr. Tymon does not have an email address. City Hall provided me with his phone number and I sent him a letter via USPS. He never responded to the letter. I do not have adequate information to sort this candidate out.
It's rather disappointing that all the candidates did not respond. I have my thoughts, but no evidence as to why. They may proclaim 'lost email,' or 'inadequate campaign worker,' or 'oversight'.... Ok, I'm being too harsh, a tad judgmental, I apologize. Candidates are telling us they care what we think and say they want to hear from us . . . Those who responded showed their sincerity, courage, commitment and a willingness to put themselves out there. I still have 34 days to make up my mind. Based on where I am today, I'm somewhat torn. Those who responded were very impressive. But I can't help but think, what did I miss by not having the same opportunity with the others. The important thing to know about me, is that I am a candidate for change. I am always open to learning more. All of the candidates have my email address and should feel free to write. Be assured, I want the best candidate for the job . . . I'm still sorting!