One role of a journalist is to be a watchdog for the community; to inform their readers about things they may not know is going on. As I sit in meeting after meeting, every two weeks (sometimes more frequently), it hit me. I see things most residents don’t. Check that, most voters don’t.
Something stuck in my craw after the last common council meeting on March 10. There were more Boy Scouts leading the Pledge of Allegiance than candidates in attendance. I counted eight candidates with six being incumbents who were a part of the meeting.
Why does it matter? Noblesville has 25 candidates running for 10 positions (nine on council and mayor) and only one race is unopposed. I see three non-incumbents, maybe four, at council meetings. I won’t name and names but if voters want to know they should come out one Tuesday night to City Hall and you’ll easily spot them.
Why do I bring this up in March when the primary election isn’t until May 5? Because we only have exactly 50 days left and I know wild ideas and campaign promises are forthcoming from candidates. If you haven’t started campaigning now what are you waiting for? There are high profile names in every race.
To the candidates, how are you going to tell voters what you are going to do to better Noblesville when you don’t know what’s taking place? Saying you lived here your whole life shows age not experience. Knowing Roberts Rules of Order, discussing gripes at the coffee shop and walking door to door isn’t enough. You need to know what is taking place in the city and why. How can you make an informed decision if you know none of the facts or history? Not to mention the process and procedures of meetings.
I really want to ask candidates one pointed question when we run their information prior to the election – How many meetings have you attended since you filed for office? If the article ran today my count is 13 council candidates would say zero. (Again, there are 25 candidates. I’ll let you do the math.)
That makes me question not only as a journalist, but as I resident, how can I take you serious if you don’t take the job serious?