I want to thank the Delta County Democratic and Republican parties as well as anyone else involved in hosting the candidate forum at the rec center on Oct. 2. Before the forum I didn't know who anyone other than Kerry Donovan was. Everyone else was just a name I've seen in the DCI, on yard signs or in mailings. It was time for this five-year resident of Delta to get more involved with my community!
I found it interesting that the announcement of the forum in DCI and the welcome by each party's representative mentioned how amazing it was that people with differing viewpoints could come together civilly to hear from all sides. Really? Is this what it's been like here? Does Delta County have a history of being a community so divided that it surprises everyone that a group of people can come together without a riot or screaming match breaking out? I thought Williams, Ariz., where I moved from, was pretty polarized but they have nothing on Delta if all of the above is true! No riots or screaming matches broke out and I wasn't at all surprised that people were respectful. That's been my experience of the fine folks of Delta County; everyone has been really nice, helpful and welcoming.
It was nice to see the candidates in person and to hear their voices rather than just reading about them or seeing their picture somewhere. I was surprised that the candidates weren't asked the same set of questions though. It made taking notes almost impossible because I couldn't write the question down fast enough before Candidate A started answering. It was hard to capture their response before Candidate B was asked a different question. Good thing KVNF was there to record it! Hopefully that's available online to go back and listen to or perhaps get a transcript of.
The candidates for county clerk and recorder were given the questions ahead of time because they shuffled through papers before reading their answers. This seemed odd to me; it did make for a more efficient forum given the time limits but it certainly didn't allow for much spontaneity. I didn't notice the other candidates reading their answers so I'm not sure if they were given the questions ahead of time or not. In any case, if that was how the forum was to be run, the DCI article and the moderators should have told us that.
All in all it was a positive experience for me. Again, I'm thankful for the opportunity to see these folks in person and to hear from them directly. Hopefully this is one of many forums or debates to come.