By Noah Dawson
A forum was held last night at Tascosa Road Fellowship, where incumbent council members and challengers laid out their views on the issues. The incumbents made several controversial claims, from comparing themselves to Jesus to blaming voters for the closing of Thompson Park Pool.
Councilmember Hays, when discussing the issue of the closing of Thompson Park Pool, shifted the blame to the voters, claiming that “it has been on city wide votes twice and was not approved.” She said those votes were “our opportunity as a city to make improvements in that area.” She did not clarify which votes she was referring to, and I personally am not aware of any such votes.
Councilmember Powell, on the topic of shifting meeting times, said that the people of the city “can see those online.” However, public comment has not been recorded by the city since August, and watching the meetings online does not give the same opportunity to interact with councilmembers as attending in person. She also referred to her private sector job as her “real job.”
Councilmember Sauer compared the city's budgeting ability to Jesus, saying that “it's almost like the feeding of the five thousand.” He also voiced opposition to moving elections to November, saying that local elections are “supposed to be a completely blind type of an election.”
Councilmember Smith complained about the short length of the terms of council seats, saying “two years, I don't think, was enough time serving on the council.” He also admitted that the state of public transportation was “still pretty bad.”
Mayor Nelson did not attend the forum.
Hayden Pedigo, who is challenging Councilmember Hayes for seat one, and Steven Rosas, who is challenging Councilmember Smith for seat four, were in attendance. The two challengers focused on issues such as keeping young people in our city, reforming our currently at large election system, and revitalizing the north side of the city. They also highlighted the importance of having more people engaged in our local government.