What I thought about their responses . . .
City Council Candidate's Response and my reflections . . .Posted 10/11/2007 9:17 AM
It's only 26 days till the election. On August 20, 2007, I sent an email to the city council candidates asking a series of questions about professionalism, communication, and character ( Will Palm Spring's Candidates Respond? Bottom of pg.). Surely they'll respond to a resident and voter. But some didn't. I admit my letter wasn't typical. As a careered management consultant, I assess managerial candidates. My view of the city council candidates was limited. Obviously some candidates thought it was better not to participate, leaving me to believe they might not respond to residents as an elected official either. Here are my thoughts from my limited perspective of emails, forums, news articles, etc. I personally do not know the candidates.
I've seen Mr. Gainer at forums and he responded to my email with a brief statement of his past efforts and referred me to his website . . . and that is how I have seen him every since. He is who he is. . . a man who has given much to Palm Springs and is clear about where he stands on issues. He offers up his past efforts as evidence of his work ethic and I really respect that . . . He is outspoken on preservation issues (which is great) and yet supports the need for downtown development. Mr. Gainer has the whole vision. I am still listening, Mr. Gainer.
Eloise Garcia-Mohsin Ms. Garcia-Mohsin did not respond to my email. No impressions or thoughts regarding her.
I am perplexed as to where to begin regarding my thoughts about Ms. Grattan. Her letter was the most comprehensive response I received. . . It was not filled with fluff, nor did she link me to her website, stating I could learn everything there (like other candidates). Ms. Grattan took the time to answer my letter in detail, leaving me to believe that's the kind of attention she would give a resident if she's elected. She was humble, open, revealing and attentive to my questions. Ms. Grattan touts a very impressive background that incorporates an amazing career. Her involvement in Palm Springs government, clubs, organizations, affiliations, etc., are endless. Without her response, I wouldn't have a clue about this amazing women. That's not to infer she hasn't been out there representing her plan for Palm Springs. Out of all my letters, Ms. Grattan's stands out. I am left with the thought that she possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience. I hope the public becomes more acquainted with Ms. Grattan's amazing history, experience and skills. Ms. Grattan has my full attention.
Mr. Hutcheson did not respond to my letter. However, I do have some thoughts and reflections from the forums and his mailers. I haven't heard Mr. Hutcheson speak without first touting his endorsements. He certainly doesn't need to do that as his public service record provides evidence of much experience and capabilities. I don't assess candidates based on their endorsement. To do so devalues my own intellect and ability to process. Mr. Hutcheson has a flyer that showcases his endorsements, then at the bottom in a small blue box, it crams in his amazing experience. All his focus on endorsements leave me pondering whether he will lead by his own compass or make his decisions by seeking the approval of others. Mr. Hutcheson is so much more than his endorsements. His credentials and experience are outstanding and can stand on their own. Of course I'm still open and listening . . .
Mr. Mahlowitz responded to my letter with much enthusiasm, thank you! When he talks, he is the most focused speaker among the group. Mr. Mahlowitz touts an enthusiasm that is captivating. He communicates clearly and objectively about the issues. In his email response, he took the full opportunity to share information about himself. His large brochure is comprehensive and reflects his position on issues, which is refreshing in light of other candidate's brochures which tend to fault find, shame and blame. I like his art's based focus for tourism, very exciting and classy. It is his positive outlook, enthusiasm, and plan for Palm Springs that makes him a good solid candidate. Mr. Mahlowitz definitely has my attention . . .
Ms. Ploss responded to my email. It's not like I or the public don't know Ms. Ploss, after all, she has been relentless in her pursuit to address issues. It is her past efforts that provide testimony and evidence of her commitment. There's no denying that she is resilient with energy to spare. I was shocked to learn at the Mizell forum, that she hasn't been appointed to a commission. It is her persistence that clearly makes her a good candidate. Of course we're listening, Ms. Ploss, because you make sure we do . . . Such persistence is a good quality in a leader. I'm still listening . . .
Mr. Weigel is not afraid to used the 'L' word in his email response. Make no mistake, he said he LOVES Palm Springs! It's that love for our city that's the foundation of his campaign. He touts a history that has fingerprints on a lot of good things in Palm Springs. Surely, such a life of public service deserves our attention, respect and consideration. However, Mr. Weigel website does not lay out the specifics on where he stands on issues. His website has a letter that says something like (editing here) 'his agenda is simple . . . to do what's best for the entire city' . . . Mr. Weigel, please help me understand your position on the issues. I am still pondering Mr. Weigel's ability to work with the bigger picture. I sincerely welcome the opportunity to learn more about his opinions and positions. With much respect, I'm still open . . .
Mr. Williams was the only one to really answer my favorite and toughest question in the email, "How fragile are you?" First he restated it so I would know he was going to address it head on. Then he proceeded to answer it with his personal history that provides much evidence that he is certainly not fragile. He continued to restate my questions and answer each of them. I was impressed by his responses and they had much impact. However, every time I see him in forums, he appears so different from the man in the letter. I don't hear the depth in his forum answers. Earlier in the day of the Mizell forum, I received a letter from his campaign asking me how many signs I wanted for my lawn... The letter was very presumptive. That night at the forum, there was a huge truck load of signs at the parking lot entry. I remember thinking, "Mr. Williams, please talk to us tonight, let us see the man behind all the polish." Mr. Williams is a strong candidate because of his campaign efforts, but that is not the only element necessary in my consideration. I still need to hear him articulate his plan. His response to my email showed tremendous insight, tenacity, and ability. Therefore he is a serious contender. I look forward to learning more about Mr. Williams.
I want a candidate who has the abilities to do the job. Just because a candidate doesn't like what's going on in city government, doesn't make them qualified. Candidates that get into fault finding, shaming and blaming have a backward focus. Telling us what others did wrong, does not guarantee they know how to do it right. Candidates, please show me your action plans, clarify you position on all issues and with a 'humble' sense of pride educate me about your experience, skills and accomplishments. Lastly, endorsements are acts of support and I encourage organizations to let us know who they chose. But candidates should not believe for one-second that intelligent voters won't process their own information and arrive at their own conclusions. Therefore, endorsement should not replace the candidate's burden of bring us along in understanding their abilities, experience and plan for Palm Springs.
My attempt is to share my thoughts and reflections with residents who may not have the time to sort it all out . . . I am not at all contending people have to see it my way. My process has been time consuming and a lot of residents are unable to take such time. I hope that by election day, I have provided some information that's been helpful. Please feel free to write me at Brightly3.aol.com.
(Should you be interested in a story I wrote about FRAGILITY, go to: