Opinion: Town board candidate asks for additional forum
Let there be no misunderstanding, I am a candidate for the Baldwin Town Board and as much as I have attempted to avoid it, hopefully this does not appear biased toward that goal.
Baldwin has experienced significant growing pains over the last decade. A few of the issues are: comprehensive plan, services sharing, roads, local zoning, remain a township, become a city, merge with a city, township administrator, park development, community center and worst of all, doing nothing.
The Baldwin Township Board needs as much resident involvement as possible to make the best decisions about Baldwin’s future. As part of the township’s participation in the Initiative Foundation’s Healthy Communities Partnership, last June a few hundred residents attended a visioning session. One of the desired outcomes was improved two-way communication between the township and its residents. Baldwin’s overworked board members need to continue to deliver regular timely communications to the residents. At the end of the day, however, residents need to take responsibility to provide feedback to the Baldwin leadership. In my opinion, candidates for public office also have an obligation to truly inform their constituents of the issues as well as position themselves on these issues. I invite all of the other candidates running for the two Baldwin supervisor positions to do their part with enthusiastic participation in multiple public airings of Baldwin issues.
Historically, Baldwin resident Elaine Philippi has done her part to organize a well-attended candidate forum. This year’s single question-and-answer forum is scheduled for the Saturday prior to the election. This leaves little time for attendees to discuss what they heard from the candidates and other residents with their friends and neighbors. I suggest at least one additional “town hall meeting” type moderated session held on an earlier evening to allow voters more opportunity to listen and to be heard. The more structured format allows the moderator to provide explanation of issues and provide follow-up as appropriate. — Charles Nagle, Princeton