LETTER: CANDIDATE FORUMS 2013 ALMOST OVER NOW
There are times when you want to reach out and pat on old friend on the back and say, “Thank you, job well done”. As a moderator for many candidate forums, our old friend Don Riecks (Pronounced Rex) has always been fair and forceful in keeping things in order. But at the recent Hilltop Candidate Forum, he nearly met his match in unruly conduct and inattentive candidates. He should be commended for how he handled the situation as it evolved. Thank you, Don from one citizen to another.
Some days before this episode and at another forum put on in Wesley Retirement Center, it was also kept in check and more easily maintained. Exception: One questioner who spoke with many personal pronouns, “I” and “me” and had to be reminded that a question was anticipated.
Matt Pina, Dave Kaplan, Melissa Musser; all unopposed candidates for reelection spoke in an orderly fashion and Mellissa managed to bring some laughter into this usually wry affair. Jeremy Nutting, who is vying to remain in his appointed position as Council Member spoke well of himself and desires for a better community but was much less impressive as was James Payne. Mr. Nutting spoke for only two
minutes and I felt that he would be a good candidate to keep things on a “status quo”. However, Mr.
Payne had us sitting on seat edge with hope for a much better community. Quick to remind all about his awareness that one man cannot make the changes that we direly need, still James Payne promises to work with even those council persons who might resist his efforts at improving the way our city is governed.
Currently a Captain in the US Army, James Payne has served in Afghanistan. A former Seattle Police
Officer, he understands the need and requirement for the embellishment of our current police force to get our crime wave under control. If elected, it is likely that he will make a gigantic difference on how the council spends it’s (our) money and how we entice new business here. He comes to us as a first time candidate, who is practically unarmed when it comes to a financial “War Chest”, yet he will not give up on his quest to serve us as he has served our nation. With only some $2000 dollars for his campaign, he is munable to get the visibility and his identity wide spread as is a requirement for vote harvesting. Such is the tyranny of being the first-time candidate. If you could hear Payne’s credentials and know this man, there would be no doubt that he is a much needed ingredient in the Des Moines City Council. Recommended for promotion to Major in his command, James Payne is a leader without peers in our immediate roll call of candidates and will be a “City Father” to be proud of. James is a soon-to-be family man with a beautiful wife and twins on the way in December.
Of all the remarkable things I know of this friend of mine, add his level of education, which he speaks very modestly about. Soon a masters degree in Public Administration will be in his possession too, and will benefit all of us in a city that is barely floating.
Payne does have one very powerful and very popular council member who would like to defeat him and that is all the more reason we need to stand with our friend, James Payne, and see him seated when the smoke of political battle clears. It is during the “rule” of this very popular and very powerful “leader” that we are now over one million dollars in shortfall.
We need James Payne, and so does the current city councilpersons (whether they realize it or not).
Pat Nardo, Citizen of Des Moines