You did a really great thing last night at the Key Largo Civic Club candidate forum. You showed your true sense of right and wrong and integrity. The moderator, Pam Martin had been asking deliberately skewed and sleazy biased questions all night and all the voters in the room knew it. Too make it worse, she asked a few candidates to answer their own question, and then also answer the question she had designed for another candidate, but that candidate did not show up at the forum. How ridiculous to make only some candidates answer 2 questions, like it’s the candidates fault an opponent no-showed. Fortunately, the candidates were good sports, and gentlemen, and did not show her up as the bad moderator. My favorite part was David Asdourian (KL Wastewater candidate) after answering his question, got another candidate’s question – which itself should have been directed to a candidate who is running for re-election, not a candidate unfamiliar with deepest miniscule inner workings at KL Wastewater – flat out honestly said he did not know, and would have to do appropriate research before making any decisions. God bless him. That was the hardest the audience clapped all night. And Pam Martin just stood there, with back-fire residue all over her.
But I digress. Sorry. Getting back to the you part – At the very end, when all candidates were getting specific audience questions, Pam read a question, but the candidate had already left, as had most of the candidates. First that was very bad form. If the candidate has left, what is gained by reading the question anyway? Well, that’s exactly what she did. The question, for Mike Forester about his gambling comment, was negative an left a bad impression on the audience. Other candidates’ questions were asked and answered, and she started to say goodbye and please help clean up. You, in full hero mode stood up and loud enough to be heard over the din, directly told her “It was a joke.He did not mean it”, and a few other words about his comment being taken too seriously. You stood up and set the room right, and me and everybody else still sitting, paying attention, clapped and said thank you. So thanks again, you did a good thing.
Here is what I wrote back to Sue.
The same sense of fair play is what moved me to go to bat for equal time for Amendment 4 at the Marathon Chamber of Commerce forum, which led to my getting tossed out of the forum when I interrupted the Chamber speaker against Amendment 4, with a loud shout: “Sylvia Murphy, the mayor of Monroe County, is completely in favor of Amendment 4!” I did that only after I was unable to get permission to say the same thing, calmly, after the Chamber speaker was done attacking Amendment 4.
As for Pam’s questions, I liked the one she gave to me about Keith & Schnars, and county staff doing comp plan changes instead.
[I explained at the forum that Marathon once had used Keith & Schnars for much the same thing, and had paid them $500,000 to do it. Then Marathon had become dissatisfied with Keith & Schnars and had finished out the work with city staff. None of the $500,000 was recovered. The County later paid Keith & Schnars $1,000,000 to do a new Comp Plan, because County Growth Management, according to what a county commissioner had told me, didn't like doing that kind of work, it was too boring. Staff wanted to do exciting work, like the Wisteria Island development, which consumed an enormous amount of staff time, even though it was unknown how Key West would weigh in on the development, which needed Key West to provide sewerage reception and treatment and other public services. When Key West said no thank you, after being invited by County Mayor Sylvia to weigh in on Wisteria, all of that county staff time was wasted. Not only that, staff went over to the developer, as if they were working for the developer instead of for the County and its taxpayers. Not only that, if staff had done the Comp Plan, that $1,000,000 could have been used for raises to county employees. I was the first county commission candidate to speak, answer questions. I thought I heard a great sucking sound in the audience.]
However, I didn’t at all like her giving double questions at the end, including questions to the other missing candidate, and I didn’t care for her reading questions to candidates not there. But if she had not ask the missing Mike Forster the casino-airport question, that would not have gotten cleared up at that forum.
It probably didn’t get cleared up at all in Marathon, after the Keynoter missed the joke altogether, and it’s reporter at the forum apparently did not speak with Mike about what he had said about slots at the Marathon airport. The same reporter did not speak with me after the forum either, before writing about what I did at the forum. Do I think the Keynoter would do just about anything to get two county commissioners living in Marathon again – Naw.
Later I told Mike, joke though his was, slots/casino in the Marathon Airport probably is the only sensible solution to turning it around in the unforeseeable future. It would be a county asset, the county could run it, make the loot off of it. Float a revenue bond to pay for its construction, early operation. I could see lots of airplanes flying into that airport, and lots of vehicles parked around it. Plenty of space there for much parking.
Spoken by someone who always has opposed bringing casio gambling into the Keys.
Also spoken by someone who has advocated providing clothing optional beaches in the Keys, to pronto jack up the tourists visits to the Keys with not promotional costs – Internet grapevine would spread the news worldwide in about 24 hours.
And spoken by someone, who, at the prompting of a panel member at a Hometown! PAC forum in Key West to provide an alternative industry than tourism for the Keys, suggested legalization of marijuana farming and export of that produce to foreign countries and the US mainland. Weed grows well in the Keys. Later, I focused more on medical marijuana farming in the Keys, which has more legal standing in parts of the US and perhaps that will increase.
At Pam’s forum on Key Largo, Morgan McPherson promoted growing and developing medicinal herbs in the Keys, as a new industry. He promoted that several times during his last run for mayor of Key West. Probably harder to cultivate medicinal than marijuana, but similar line of thinking.
I think booze is far more dangerous than weed, but too much usage-reliance on either is harmful.
And I think resistance to fair play, and to thinking outside the box, is ultimately fatal.
When Pam Martin, the forum host, called me about my having posted Sue’s email, she asked if it was from Sue Heim? I said yes, and invited Pam to make a reply, which I would publish, perhaps along with my own comments. I opined that all candidates were told at the beginning of the forum that they would each get a minute to introduce themselves, a minute and a half to answer one question, and there might be questions from the audience. This was Pam’s second forum. At the first forum, a number of questions came from the audience after all of the candidates had gone through the regular drill. The candidates at the second forum all knew there might be questions for them at the end, so they had nothing to complain about if they left early. I told Pam the only real problem I had with how she had handled it was she didn’t give the candidates who were asked two questions at the end twice as much time as they would have been given to answer one question.
Here is Pam’s response to Sue Heim’s email.
The forum went fine, the questions were on topic, there were over 115 people there and the audience left better informed. Sue is a very disruptive person. Remember Sue tried to interrupt the August forum & she was told to sit down. A lot of the other community groups up here have problems with her.
I asked Kay Thacker about the questions & she said they were valid questions people wanted to hear the answers on. I have a Independant, Republican & Democrat who help make up the questions so any bias gets kicked out. Also Candidates were given an extra 30 seconds (now 1 minute & 30 seconds) to answers their questions which was announced in the beginning of the forum.
One reason a lot of people like to come to the Key Largo Civic Club forum is because the public get to ask questions at the end of the forum. It’s printed in the invitation and press releases and all the candidates know this. I didn’t want people to think I had not asked all the audience’s question or filtered any out (as I had green slips left) so I read the questions, who they were for & the fact the candidates had left. No conspiracy here.
As it turns out… it was a good thing as you stated the Mike Forster/casino item was a joke & I repeated the answer to the audience over the microphone as they could not all hear your answer. Some people were relieved as the casino item had been printed as part of Mike’s platform in the papers. So put Sue’s sour grapes in the circular file were they belong and do what most people do when they see her coming… go the other way.
Sue Heim has put me through my paces a few times, and some of it led to posts to my websites and email list. Twice I challenged Sue to run for office, since she seemed so concerned, but she said she preferred to be an activist in other ways. Can’t say I blamed her. Running for office is a real grind, and while I have never served in office, I imagine it also is a real grind. In fact, I can’t wrap my mind around anyone actually wanting to be an elected official. Nor can I wrap my mind around voters electing people who want to be in office. Wanting to be elected should automatically disqualify any candidate, as far as I’m concerned.
Political advertisement, approved and paid for by me, the District 2 county commission candidate who was told by the angels to run, or else. With the angels, it’s always trick or treat. Halloween is 365 days a year for them.