LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A Reader’s Review Of Our Candidates Forum
Candidates for the King County Council District 8 position; Diana Toledo, Shawn McEvoy, Joe McDermott, and Tim Fahey met for the first community forum of the primary cycle.
Sponsored by The B-Town Blog and moderated by KIRO radio talk show host Dave Ross, it provided spirited debate that was fast paced from start to finish, with the audience joining in to keep the candidates focused and honest.
When the Journalist Panel asked what specific program’s each candidate would target in order to address next year’s budget deficit, Joe McDermott quickly found out that the audience was there for answers, not political posturing. After attempting to deflect the question, McDermott attempted to pass the microphone to the next candidate; only to have an audience member shout out “You didn’t answer the question!” Moderator Dave Ross quickly chimed in, “Joe, would you like to answer the question?” To which Joe McDermott simply answered “No”.
The crowd was receptive as well, laughing along with several jokes made by Tim Fahey who seemed very comfortable admitting that he may not be the candidate with the most experience, but that he would be working for the people. Fahey went so far as to admit that the salary’s for council members is outrageous and that he’d gladly do the job for less than $100k a year, a $27k pay cut from what the council members currently make. Tim came across as the friend you can count on to be at your house on moving day, when everyone else oversleeps.
Shawn McEvoy was the obvious statesman in the group, coming across a very likeable, with a solid base of political experience to work from. McEvoy expressed the need to work together in a non-partisan way to get things done; offering his work history of Normandy Park Mayor and Council member to draw upon.
Joe McDermott touted his close working relationship with King County Executive Dow Constantine, and his work in the State Legislature.
The shining star of the night was undoubtedly Diana Toledo, who came across as containing all of the best qualities of the night’s candidates. Diana brought passion, humor, and a solid knowledge base that was fostered over 15 years of working internally for King County. Diana’s spot-on answers to each question regularly earned applause from the audience and at one point even inspired opponent Tim Fahey to recognize Toledo’s unique qualifications by saying “Diana Toledo obviously has the most experience of us all.”
The evening ended in spectacular form as well; with the final audience question coming in the form of a passionate plea from a gentleman introduced only as “Peter”. Peter read a list of names he said were residents whose lives had been damaged by the closing of the South Park Bridge; his anger seemingly directed at Joe McDermott, as he stated “Yes, I’m looking at you!”
The forum closed moments later, with each candidate giving a closing statement.
The next time the candidates meet will be on Vashon Island on July 30, 2010.
– Michael Owsley
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Have something you’d like to say? Then email a “Letter to the Editor” by clicking here. Be sure to include your real name and a way to contact you, and, pending our review, we’ll most likely post it. Otherwise, feel free to leave a Comment below…]
Read our coverage of the forum here.