Voters should see who was disrespectful

Published 10:38 am Thursday, October 20, 2011

Less than one third of the candidates seeking political office within the city of Ironton chose to participate in the long-standing tradition of the Ironton Cooperative Club’s candidates forum.

Our society is quick to criticize citizens for voter apathy, but we essentially have the same level of engagement with some of those seeking political office.

The inattention to detail required to RSVP by the appropriate deadline or the unwillingness to take the time to talk with the public in an open forum each speaks volumes about the candidates.

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Ironton mayoral candidates Rich Blankenship and Bob Cleary attended. Karl Wentz did not. In the city council race only challenger Aaron Bollinger participated. Incumbents Kevin Waldo and Frank Murphy chose to pass, as did newcomer Phillip Heald.

Although all three candidates for the Ironton Board of Education are unopposed and will take a seat in November, none of them chose to participate either. At least they have a little better argument.

Overall, the unwillingness to embrace this forum simply sends the wrong message to citizens and voters.

Everyone is busy in today’s fast-paced world. Everyone has a variety of other commitments and things that take up their time.

But those seeking elected office have to find ways to make themselves available and represent the public, this starts even before taking office.