‘Political’ consideration(s)

Hello friends. The race for Richmond Common Council has begun. In District 3 where I am running, the primary is over. I won. As of this writing I am running unopposed in the General Election in November, but I may have Republican challenger.

That said, I am savoring my first election win and getting ready for the fall campaign. With or without an opponent, I plan to campaign for the council seat and try my best to let people know what or who they are voting for.

After I filed to run, an old friend asked me why I decided to “get into politics.”

I didn’t know how to answer that because I guess I’d never really thought of it that way. When I worked at the Palladium-Item I covered 15 years of city council meetings, county council meetings, county commissioners, park board, sanitation board, plan commission (city and county), board of works…

Well, you get the idea.

I also covered 12 to 15 political campaigns for mayor, for state rep and senate, city and county council and other various county offices.

But I never really considered myself political. I was never much of a Democrat, nor a much of a Republican. Actually, the newspaper forbade it. My role as a journalist was remain apart from any political fray. Instead, it was to listen, to learn, to decipher and to translate.

Ultimately, it was to report as fairly and accurately as possible. Thus, politics for me was trying to understand the political landscape and those who inhabited it.

So to say I’m entering politics is a bit of a stretch. Instead, I hope to bring to council that same training, that same approach I employed as a journalist. If elected to council, my role, as I see it, will be to listen, learn and represent my constituents by making educated, fair and sensible decisions, and to make sure the public understands what we’re doing and why.

Included in that is making sure to protect the public’s right to know what their elected officials are doing. Since retiring, I’ve enjoyed my time on the park board, plan commission and plat committee of the plan commission. I’ve gained a reputation for being thorough — just ask park superintendent Denise Retz.

I ask a lot of questions. I cannot make good decisions without asking questions. I ask questions until I truly understand what I am being ask to vote on. If it turns a 30-minute meeting into a 60-minute meeting then so be it.

That’s what I will bring, if elected, to council. Not that I like long meetings. Not that I like being annoying. Not that I want to be “political.” I just want to make sure I know what I’m doing.

Let me know what you think and feel free to ask me your questions.

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