Despite the fact that (almost) all the progressive candidates showed up for the Tea Party forum in July, the conservative candidates refused to attend a forum hosted by RE Sources and Futurewise about zoning, growth issues and water quality.
The forum, which was scheduled for tomorrow, would have been a discussion about some of the most pressing issues facing the Whatcom County Council, yet the conservative candidates either refused (Ben Elenbaas and Bill Knutzen) or just blew it off (Kathy Kershner and Michelle Luke). There could not be a clearer comparison between the candidates.
The progressive candidates (Weimer, Mann, Buchanan and Browne) are willing to engage with people outside their comfort zone, answering questions hosted by somewhat hostile groups, while the conservative candidates refuse to appear without guaranteeing that the referee is on their side.
Is this the sort of behavior we want to encourage in our elected officials? Growth issues, zoning concerns and water quality are huge issues on the county level and would account for easily half the material they confront on the council. To duck the one forum that explicitly deals with these concerns is shockingly disappointing.
The forum has been cancelled as a result of the conservative candidate’s unwillingness to attend, leaving Whatcom County in the dark about their views on a whole range of issues.
The next opportunity to see the candidates will be the Building Industry Association candidate debate on Sept. 18th. The cost to attend this event is $15 a person, naturally the progressive AND conservative candidates have RSVP-ed already.