The Osborn Retirement Community held a candidates forum Monday evening October 19th with Rye mayoral and city council candidates. The Osborn held a well run event organized by their civic committee that began with 30 minutes for candidates to meet the voting public.
The crowd must have numbered 70 or maybe 80, besting the audience at last week's League of Women Voter's debate (about 50 by our estimates). With eight candidates up on stage it was a bit of a lightning round. Things moved along nicely and the audio system was excellent.
MyRye.com will be posting video of the candidate closing statements of the debate. You can also check out MyRye.com's Osborn debate photo album.
The "witty comment award" goes to Peter Jovanovich who besides selling a lot of books in his career clearly read a lot of them as well. Who knows if he can govern, but these comments bring some light on some fairly dry issues and for that, we are thankful. Our three Jovanovich favorites:
- On Rye City and its real estate dealings: "We are like a southern family. We are land rich and income poor."
- On Rye parking issues: "Mark Twain says about the weather everyone likes to talk about it but no one does anything about it – just like the parking issue in Rye."
- On Rye's legal and litigation bills: "The combatants may have forgotten why were are fighting."
On a more serious note, Theall Road got a lot of play given it serves as the entrance to The Osborn. Mayor Steve Otis said the road repair cost an additional $700,000 because of the 5-6 year delay cause by opponents who are now supporting Doug French. After Otis hailed Rye's AAA bond rating Doug French cautioned Moody's last rating review was in 2005.
Council candidate Keith suggested "we can rank our capital improvement plan" and on budget issues Andy Ball said "It is about securing outside money." Myles Lavelle on cutting city services: "I don't think cutting services is the way to go." Doug French said he though city staff "morale has never been lower."
Ball defended city staff saying we have a "very talented and hard working city staff… they deliver for us." After Jovanovich criticized salary and benefit raises, Ball suggested the comment was overblown, pointing out raises last year for staff totaled $19,000. Joe Murphy on the opposition: "They are going to fold a tent on us and we are not going to have a city."
A spirited debate for sure. MyRye.com will post the videos of the closing statements shortly.
What did you think of the debate? Leave a comment below.