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From yesterday’s KONK Life - www.keysnews.com, I added Mayor Craig Cates and Mark Howell’s photos, and a few comments in italics.
THE KONK LIFE POLITICAL QUESTIONNAIRE: CRAIG CATES
KONK LIFE EDITOR RM — SAT, JUN 14 2014
The Konk Life Political Questionnaire
Conducted by Mark Howell
Q:Mayor Craig Cates: Tell us your age, what office you’re running for and any previous offices held.
A: I’m 60 and this is my first time holding public office.
Actually, Craig has been mayor three terms, the first term started in late 2009. When he ran in 2009, he said he would not run again.
Q: Explain your platform and why you are running:
A: It’s very simple. Focus on quality of life. Let’s keep working together to keep Key West moving forward — NO special interests.
Excellent – Quality of life and NO special interests. Get rid of sea-killing, sidewalk and street polluting cruise ships; eliminate all civic and non-profit organizations and movements, churches, political parties, capitalists, socialists, communists, bubba Conch practices, etc. [Craig is a bubba Conch - born and raised in Key West, his wife, Cheryl, too]
Q: Detail how you differ from your competing candidates:
A: I will continue to work with city staff, administration and commissioners to keep city government focused on residents and keep Key West moving forward. We must find a way to work together – not tear things down.
As long as there are special interests, there will be little, if any, working together.
Q: Tell us your personal history: Education; professional career; family life and how long you’ve lived in the Keys and your relationship with Key West:
A: I was born and raised here in Key West. My wife Cheryl and I have been married 42 years and built a successful automotive repair and sales business and was owner of the NAPA Auto Parts store. We raised our three daughters here and currently enjoy being grandparents. My family has a long history of proud public service to the City of Key West, including my mother Emma Cates who served on the City Commission.
Craig graduated from Key West High School, I don’t know if he attended college.
Q: Touch on your personal passions in addition to the above:
A: As a world champion boat racer and drag racer, obviously mechanics are in my blood. I love solving complicated problems and helping things run smoothly.
Attend a few city commission meetings, over which Craig presides, and see how smoothly the city does not run. Not meant to fault Craig about that – it’s how the city is and long has and will continue to run for so long as there are special interests.
Q: Describe where, in your view, we are going wrong in the Keys and/or Key West:
A: In the daily grind it’s easy to forget why we live here in the first place. It’s important to take a moment to recognize the natural beauty and awesome community that we live in.
The awesome beauty of cruise ships blocking the sun at the city piers; the awesome beauty of a nearly dead reef; the awesome beauty of polluted water in which the horror MRSA thrives waiting to infect anyone in the water with a nick or scratch on the skin.
Q: Tell us the political flash points you expect to encounter if elected:
A: Attempts to politicize for personal gain the workings of the City are counter-productive. We must stay vigilant in working together to keep Key West moving forward.
Moving forward by paying Ed Swift’s company, Historic Tours of America, $500,000 a year to bring cruise ship passengers in from the outer mole pier to his conch train terminals/gift shops, where they buy fake Key West trinkets made in Asia, and pay to take city tours on other conch trains and city trolleys, which clog city streets and blast residential neighborhoods with loud speakers; and from which terminals/gift shops cruise ship passengers wander onto Duval Street and patronize those tourist-dependent businesses, including City Commissioner Mark Rossi’s sin clubs, among other many sin clubs on Duval Street; from where they wander to various restaurants and for-profit museums on and near Duval Street, and to Faustos grocery store owned by City Commissioner Jimmy Weekley’s family – all thanks to the city paying Swift $500, 000 a year; the same Swift the city once gave a monopoly on conch trains and trolleys, which monopoly ended up costing the city around $8,000,000 in an anti-trust lawsuit.
Q: Tell us anything you feel you need to explain or any misapprehension you believe voters may have of you:
A: Voters know you can count on Craig Cates to listen to your concerns, act with common sense and continue to make progress on important projects like the new City Hall at Glynn Archer.
I can’t say Craig acted with any common sense in his crusade to fix all of Key West’s homeless people, or make them leave the area if they did not get fixed. He certainly did not listen to me, whom he knew was an expert on homelessness in Key West. Nor can I say Craig acted with any common sense, or common decency, to his police killing suspected homeless man Charles Eimers on South Beach last Thanksgiving Day. Nor can I say Craig acted with any common sense when he voted to put the bigger cruise ship issue out to referendum. Nor can I say Craig acted with any common sense when he voted to approve the Truman Waterfront park design, which park will cost the taxpayers a lot of money, although it was supposed to pay for itself.
Q: Give us your view on the partisan divisiveness in politics today and any solution to it you might have.
A: All politics is local. We must work together to keep Key West moving forward.
LOL working together with all the special interests doing all they can to get what they want.
Q: Given that gender equality, income parity, voting rights and sexual preferences continue as big political issues nationwide today, tell us on which side of the aisle you stand:
A: In Key West, we vote for the person, not the party. I can say that I am recognized nationally for my support of equality.
Equality, unless you are or are suspected of being homeless.
Q: And how about immigration, gun control and capital punishment:
A: Unfunded mandates and state laws that tie the hands of local government are why I support home rule as advocated by the National Council of Mayors.
And what exactly would home rule look like on those three issues in Key West?
Q: Name your favorite movie:
A: “Wizard of Oz.”
Wasn’t the wizard the bad guy, spinning all those spells and casting all those illusions?
Q: Your favorite TV show:
A: The History Channel.
History is really important: you can learn a great deal from it, if you are paying attention.
Q: Your favorite TV talking head:
A: Al Roker of the Weather Channel.
The weather is really important to talk about; I do it all the time, but it is never reported on the weather channel.
Q: Your favorite newspaper columnist:
A: Mark Howell is very good.
Naja and Arnaud Girard, who publish Key West the Newspaper, should receive a Pulitzer for their coverage of the death of Charles Eimers under several KW police officers last Thanksgiving Day.
Q: Your favorite book:
A: Many books.
You can grok a great deal about someone from the books he/she likes to read.
Q: Your favorite character in American history:
A: General Patton.
I like Patton, too. No B.S. Screw the chain of command, if they are screwing up. Screw let’s all work together, if special interests are screwing up.
Q: Your favorite person in Florida Keys and/or Key West history:
A: Captain Tony and Sir Peter Anderson.
Agreed on Capt. Tony. However, Sir Peter got control of Reef Relief, which originally was founded to protect the reef. Sir Peter’s Conch Republic company sold heaps of Conch Republic passports, T-shirts, flags, decals, etc. to cruise ship passengers. Sir Peter, when challenged by me during the run up to the bigger cruise ship referendum, refused to say he and Reef Relief were against cruise ships calling on Key West. Sir Peter has no special interests
Q: Your favorite quote or proverb:
A: John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
I agree, and for your city, county and state, and for humanity, and for Mother Nature, and for God.
Q: Is there any secret strength you’d like to reveal about yourself at this point:
A: I will always fight for what I believe in.
I look forward to Craig fighting to keep historical Angela Street and the historical Meadows neighborhood from being integrated into the new Peary Court development, after Craig told members of that neighborhood that he opposed that integration. He will get a chance to oppose that integration during tomorrow night’s city commission meeting.
In that regard, former Monroe County Mayor Shirley Freeman
came to in a dream last night with a nudge for me to publish a string of emails about that same something we both are fighting for, even though we do not live on Angela Street or in the Meadows historical neighborhood.
Tharon Dunn wrote to a big email list:
Following is a brief summary of the current status of the development process for Peary Court:
1. We have been communicating with our district commissioner Jimmy Weekley and he now feels that our best next step is for concerned Meadows residents to
attend the next City Commission meeting at 6pm Tuesday June 17 at the Old City Hall on Green Street. Three or four of us will prepare to sign in to speak at
the end of the meeting following the regular agenda.
In an effort to organize for the meeting next week, we request that you respond and tell us if you can attend and if you would like to speak and if possible mention
a point you would like to make about the Peary Court Development and the negative impact it will have on the surrounding historic neighborhoods.
Each speaker should prepare to speak for three minutes or less and should attempt to say something different while stressing that our common goal is to KEEP
THE FENCE AND ALLOW NO PENETRATION.
2. We have invited each Planning Board member to meet with us and discuss the Peary Court Development as it relates to the impact on the Meadow. Only one
response: Michael Browning feels that in view of the Sunshine Law it is inadvisable to meet with us.
3. Linda Shield and Donna Feldman met with Jim Hendrick and Donna Bosold on Sunday, June 8 to discuss progress by developers. Critical Concerns Consultants
is on track to present new plans at a HARC Special Meeting late July (Date TBA).
They expect a final decision on the removal of the fence and extension of the street grid. All indications are that HARC will not approve plans unless
the fence is removed. In addition, the majority of HARC Board Members are in favor of extending the street grid into Peary Court. Critical Concerns Consultants
indicated that once the decision is made at HARC to remove the fence and extend the street grid, this cannot be overturned by Planning or the City Commission. It
can only be appealed to the Magistrate for grounds of illegal action. It is important to determine if this is accurate. If it is, then HARC is our last chance to keep the
fence and allow no penetration.
According to the CCC timetable, plans could be at DRC late September, before the Planning Board in October or November and before the City Commission for
a first reading in December or January and final meeting in March 2015.
This may be our last opportunity to have an effect on whether we can keep the fence and avoid opening our streets into the Peary Court development.
HARC and the Planning Board seem to be intent on taking the fence down and opening our streets onto Peary Court. If we allow the boards to approve plans to that effect it may well be too late. WE NEED TO ACT NOW AND CONVINCE THE CITY COMMISSIONERS that the fence should remain, the Comprehensive Plan should be enforced, the mission statement of HARC upheld and the integrity of our historic neighborhoods saved. The City Commissioners can send a message to HARC and the Planning Board if we convince them. We know that we had strong support from five out of seven commissioners a month ago and we want to keep that support.
Again, In an effort to organize for the City Commission meeting next week, we request that you respond if you would like to speak and if possible mention one point you would like to stress in addition to KEEP THE FENCE AND ALLOW NO PENETRATION.
An Angela Street resident replied to ALL:
Tharon, Thank you for the update. I am in Virginia now and will return to Key West on June 24, so I will not be able to attend the City Commission meeting. I agree with your assessment. If we lose the Angela Street fence and have to open up our neighborhood to a relentless stream of construction trucks and later residents of the new Peary Court, we face an assault on our Old Town Meadows.
I replied to ALL:
Better for Jimmy to put Angela Street and Peary Court on the city commission agenda, which will cause the mayor and the commissioners to have do discuss it. They don’t have to respond to citizen comments at the end of a commission meeting.
Another email recipient replied to ALL:
Something is not right here. I do not understand why HARC has jurisdiction over the fence and traffic patterns. HARC has pretty much said the same.
What about the tree commission and traffic studies? City Commission needs to have a development agreement in place before this goes forward. Have we found an attorney willing to take this on?
Steve Dawkins replied to ALL:
Rita, Good point. As I understand the system in Key West, Peary Court must get the approval of the Planning Board, the Tree Commission, the Historic Architectural Review Commission and the City Commission, which has the final say. I do not know where we stand now. But perhaps the best result, which is not ideal, is to accept the loss of our Angela Street fence, but still block traffic access through Pearl and Florida Street and over Angela Street. That could be a fall back position, not ideal, but better than the worst. As Tharon Dunn has said, the City Commission is key. Steve Dawkins
Tharon Dunn replied to ALL:
Agreed. We have already talked to Jimmy WEekley about this and he doesn’t agree with the Developers on this issue. He has a call into Shawn Smith, City Attorney, and promised to let me know what he finds out about the appeal process. His and our understanding had been that the City Commission is the first stop in overturning HARC approval, with circuit court as the last resort.
We have spoken with attorney Robert Citron, who is willing to work with us. We will have to ascertain whether our group is willing to step up to the plate to move forward with an attorney. Donna Feldman will once again hire a court reporter to be present for the next HARC hearing, presumably late July, as we will need a record of proceeding should we go through the appeal process.
Bryan Green replied to ALL:
I have read very recent emails with interest. In my opinion you are mistaken in your belief that the HARC position (and potential decision to approve the proposals only if Angela Street is integrated) to be a “game changer”
It is not
HARC is entitled to make whatever decision it wishes (so long as it accords with the guidelines) but it in no way follows that the Planning Board or Commission have to agree. Indeed these other two decision making bodies exist because their mandate covers other matters not within the HARC remit – particularly density, land use and highway matters.
In my view, it is important to keep focus and see any ultimate adverse decision by HARC as a skirmish rather than a lost battle!. The position being taken by residents is not anti-development – rather you remain concerned by highway and adverse impacts on vehicular and pedestrian movements which does NOT come within HARC’s remit but DOES fall within those of the Planning Committee and the overarching Major Development application to the Commission.
My advice remains that you should focus on the Planning committee members and Commissioners who are in no way bound by (or in my experience that interested in) Harc decisions. They need to be reminded of the Comp Plan and LDR’s which in my opinion clearly set out policies which preclude adverse impact on the neighborhood that would be created through merging Peary with the Meadows
Tharon Dunn replied to ALL:
Thank you Bryan. We have all been under the impression that the process will proceed as you describe. We did feel that we should investigate the statement made by Jim Hendrick to Linda Shield and Donna Feldman to the effect that once the fence removal is approved by HARC, the approval is mandated by law. As I have said, this is contrary to our previous understanding but we want to have legal confirmation of that from the city.
Thanks again for your clear thinking on this matter. We value your input.
Bryan Green replied to ALL:
As to Jim’s comments “He would say that wouldn’t he”
I am sympathetic in this respect to the developers. They really are between a rock and a hard place. I honestly don’t think they care – they just want a consent. It is clear that HARC lead by Don Craig is being encouraged to ignore the Comp Plan and LDR’s because he believes in the principle of integration and that gated communities are the work of the Devil. I have some sympathy for that view but the flaw in his position is that he seems willing to slavishly pursue this strategy without a compensating consideration to the adverse impact on a long established community in the Meadows.
Like so many issues in life, solutions are never simple. I do think there are solutions here that require a bit of give and take on both sides but Don’s attitude makes it very difficult
Kelly Friend replied to ALL:
Isn’t Don Craig on his way out to pasture? Is it true he’s retiring within months?
I replied to ALL:
Don Craig has not worked long for the city, so if he’s leaving, I don’t think he will receive a city pension.
It is my understanding that the City Commission can change what HARC, the Tree Commission and City Planning bring before it. Robert Cintron advised you otherwise?
That aside, not only is Don Craig steamrolling integrating Angela Street into the new Peary Court Development, so is HARC’s Chair Michael Miller, and, it seems, all but maybe one or two HARC members.
Here’s the problem I see, raised by Jimmy Weekly declining to put Peary Court on this next City Commission’s agenda, for discussion, which was the advice City Commissioners Tony Yaniz and Teri Johnston each gave when they met separately with Angela Street/Meadows residents.
Maor Cates, Jimmy Weekley, Billy Wardlow, Tony Yaniz and Terri Johnston all told you, when they met with you separately, that they were not in favor of integrating Angela Street and the Meadows crossing streets into the new Peary Court. The point of getting Peary Court ASAP on a city commission agenda, for discussion, ASAP, was to send a loud and clear message back down to Don Craig, HARC and the Tree Commission, for them not to waste staff time (and taxpayer money), and the City Commission and the developer’s time and money, with a plan integrating Angela Street and the Meadows crossing streets into new Peary Court.
If HARC, the Tree Commission and City Planning now all present a plan to the City Commission, which integrates Angela Street and the Meadows crossing roads into the new Peary Court, the mayor and the six city commissioners will be thinking how much staff time (and taxpayer money) went into it getting that far, and how much money the developer has spent. The mayor and the six city commissioners will be thinking, if they change the Peary Court plan and do not integrate Angela Street and the Meadows crossing streets into the new Peary Court, then that might, perhaps will, require going back to square one and coming up with an entirely new plan for Peary Court. That will require a lot more staff time (and taxpayer dollars), and cost the developer a lot more money.
This above is what I feel you should stress during your citizen comments, along with the city’s comprehensive plan apparently prohibits a new development degrading adjoining historical neighborhoods. The promises those five elected officials made to you need to be put on the record, for all of the elected officials, city staff, citizens in the audience and watching on TV, and journalists to see and hear. The political heat has to be applied at this next city commission meeting. This is not a time to be polite. You must call those promises five of your elected officials made to you, with the public and the news media watching on.
If you don’t turn the tide at this next city commission meeting, you may end up with only one recourse: expensive litigation. As in, $100,000, or more, if you fight it as far as the law allows. You can appeal a local circuit court’s adverse decision. An arduous journey.
Bryan Green replied to ALL:
I think Sloan sets out very sound, practical and politically savvy advice
Tharon Dunn replied to ALL:
Sloan, thank you so much for all of this. We need to think about every point you are making as we prepare to speak next week. You have given us good advice all along.
Robert Cintron did not give us the information quoted about appeal process. It was Jim Hendrick in conversation with Linda Shield and Donna Feldman. Jimmy Weekley is asking Shawn Smith today if we are mistakened in our understanding of the process i.e. if Jim Hendrick is right. Hendrick may be just trying to derail our effort.
Jimmy didn’t decline to put us on the agenda but he was waiting for advice on that from Shawn Smith, which he seems not to have gotten with any positive result. I have been waiting for JImmy to respond about that for weeks now. His recommendation now is as you recommend: we speak at the end of a regular meeting as opposed to waiting any longer. He feels that the commissioners will listen to our position and respond to us and then send a clear message to HARC and PB if they agree.
We are in complete agreement about stopping the steamroll. Again, thank you.
I replied to ALL:
Tharon, others -
Perhaps you folks applying the heat at the end of this next commission meeting will cause Jimmy Weekley to feel he has an open door through which to speak his true sentiments, including calling for a Peary Court discussion item at the following city commission meeting. I am not an expert on the City Commission’s powers, but I find it hard to believe they cannot, as the mayor and four city commissioners told you folks during your separate meetings with each of them, make the final call, and are not cast-into-stone bound by City Planning, HARC, Tree Commission decisions. Certainly they should listen to Shawn Smith, but I have seen City Commissions go against advice of the City Attorney. I have seen City Commissions disagree with City Planning and other city departments. The County Commission does that, too. I have seen it many times.
My advice all along was for you folks to be attending city commission meetings and using the three minutes allowed at the end for any citizen to speak on anything that citizen wants to speak on. I also encouraged you to get Jimmy, or the Mayor, to put Peary Court on a commission meeting agenda for discussion. Without them soon sending a loud and clear message back down to Don Craig and HARC and the Tree Commission, it may not matter what Shawn Smith says. It may by then be simply about the time and money expended, and having to go back to the drawing board, or simply integrate Angela Street and the Meadows crossing streets into Peary Court.
From having practiced law elsewhere, I know all too well the grueling experience bitter litigation can be. Jim Hendrick is really smart, he probably knows land use law better than anyone in the Keys. He probably is as disgusted with how this has gone as all of you are. BUT – you folks have to chart your own course; you must keep the pressure on Jimmy Weekley, Craig Cates, Billy Wardlow, Tony Yaniz and Teri Johnston, who told you they were with you. You have a very unpopular developer, who, I was told by one of the five above, is pulling every dirty trick in the book. That is your leverage. Their word and this developer’s reputation, and Balfour Beatty before that. You have to keep reminding those five of what they told you. And you need to be doing that at city commission meetings. With a court reporter taking it all down. You might want the court reporter on call to save her/him being there during the entire commission meeting. Call the reporter two or three discussion items before closing citizen comments.
I’m rooting for you folks and imagine I will have a few things to say about this next Tuesday night.
Tharon Dunn replied to me only:
Thanks Sloan. I hope you will continue to offer advice. I am asking Jimmy again about getting us on the regular agenda.
In another dream last night, Mark Riggs, Key West’s world-class street performer, who draws huge crowds during Sunset Celebration on Mallory Pier,
nudged me toward pushing Key West to ban cruise ships from Key West. My north Georgia amiga, who is in shaman training, had a dream night before last, in which there were no cruise ships in Key West any more. I also took her dream as a nudge that I need to beat that drum plenty during this mayor’s race – a drum I started beating in the 2007 mayor’s race, and people looked at me like I was nuts.
During the run up to the bring bigger cruise ships into Key West referendum last year, Key West Chamber of Commerce President Robin Lockwood, M.D.
said at a referendum forum that the dirtiest, worst possible cruise ships were calling on Key West. At the next referendum forum, I reminded Dr. Lockwood of his saying that, and asked him why he and the Chamber of Commerce had not been raising bloody hell about banning those cruise ships from Key West? He answered that he had not said that about cruise ships. Whereupon, Jolly Benson, who represented the anti-bigger cruise ships camp,
said he had heard Dr. Lockwood say it, and how many other people in the audience had heard Dr. Lockwood say it? About 20 hands went up.
pre-referendum editorial cartoon in Key West the Newpaper – www.theblue paper.com
In a heavy voter turnout, the bigger cruise referendum was defeated by 74 percent. The referendum outcome was a statement of how 74 percent of the voters felt about cruise ships.
pos-referendum editorial Cartoon from Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluepaper.com
When these soul drawings below fell out of me last fall, I knew they were about the bigger cruise ship referendum, and also about cruise ships in general.
“Look! No cruise ships!”
I once read that back in the old days they stoned prophets, either for their prophesies coming true, or for their prophesies not coming true. I suppose that means: either way it goes with cruise ships calling on Key West, I have a lot to look forward to.
Meanwhile, the photo below was taken in Harpoon Harry’s yesterday morning by the husband of a friend of Frisbee Dave, one of our colorful homeless men. The younger woman in the photo, Jackie, is the photographer’s wife; the older woman is Jackie’s mother.
Jackie also sent this photo of her and Dave:
Back in the spring of 2004, Dave’s and my condominiums (tents) were right next door to each other on the Bridle Path across from Smathers Beach. That’s when I really got to know Dave. We have been buddies ever since. Crazy as it might seem, I think Dave would make a darn good city commissioner. He has no special interests other than throwing frisbees and teaching that to kids and adults and using frisbee as a common ground for everybody all getting along. Alas, I don’t imagine Dave would be a city commissioner for all the money in the world. He won’t even let friends like Jackie and her husband, who have the means to do so, help him return to living inside.
I told Jackie and her mother and husband yesterday morning, that I’m still of the view that what sent Dave down the road he went was getting bumped off the Michigan State baseball team because he was too small. Sports had been Dave’s life in high school; he was good at it. When he lost that future at Michigan State, he lost everything he felt was important. He then went in an entirely different direction, which eventually brought him to Key West. That eventually led to him living in a tent, and then to sleeping nights at KOTS, Key West’s overnight homeless shelter, because the city no longer would let him live in a tent.
Meanwhile, I’m gearing up for Hometown! PAC’s “meet the candidates” festivities this Friday evening at Studios of Key West, starting around 5 p.m. That’s on the corner of Southard and White Streets, just across from Perry Court. I’m especially looking forward to the slim hope that I might get to grope Hometown’s Carol Wightman’s fanny again, like what happened at Hometown’s call to candidates at Salute Ristorante last April.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West, aka “southernmost the nut house”
Going back to Mayor Cates’ answers to KONK Life’s candidate questionnaire, kill em softly Kurt Wagner sent yesterday:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Mayor Cates
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2014 18:09:27 -0500
I had to laugh when I read The Konk Life political questionaire. Of the 20 questions only 10 were meaningful in a political race. Maybe Cates didn’t take the whole thing serious, but the answers from Craig Cates are laughable.
Q2 – Explaine your platform and why you are running.
Ans – “It’s very simple. Focus on quality of life. Let’s keep working together to keep Key West moving forward-NO special interests”.
Mayor Cates, it is not simple. To think so is hiding your head in the sand. Focus on quality of life? What you should say is quality of life for the “elite” of the island and the hell with everyone else! NO special interests? How about “Swifty” and his tours? $500,000 to haul tourists from a dock that is a waste of money and not needed, to trinket shops and sex/drug bars so your friends can make money.
Q3 – Detail how you differ from your competing candidates.
Ans – “I will continue to work with city staff, administration and commissioners to keep city goverment focused on residents and keep Key West moving forward. We must find a way to work together-not tear things down”.
Wow! What a contradiction. First you “will continue working together”, then say “we need to find a way to work together”. Which is it Mayor?
Q4 – Tell us your personal history: Education; profesional career; family life and how long you’ve lived in the Keys and your relationship with Key West.
I’m not going to take up space quoting Cates’s entire answer. Just touch on two important points. You don’t mention education. No college? Trade school? Did you graduate high school? Obviously no classes in economics. Family has a long proud history of public service? Being on the city council for four years (Emma C. Cates) is not a long history. Monroe county beach advisory board. No one takes advisory boards seriously. (can you say waste management?) Advisory boards are a “feel good” reward to friends so they can feel important.
Q5 – Touch on your personal passions in addition to the above.
Ans – “As a world champion boat racer and drag racer, obviously mechanics are in my blood. I love solving complicated problems and helping things run smoothly.
I’m not saying you’re wrong mayor but after one hour of searching the internet, I could find nothing about these claims. You should have stuck with making cars and boats run smoothly because he city is NOT!
Q6 – Describe where, in your view, we are going wrong in the Keys and/or Key West
Ans – “In the daily grind it’s easy to forget why we live here in the first place. It’s important to take a moment to recognize the natural beauty and awesome community we live in”.
Maybe that’s the answer. Lets all go stare at the natural beauty of the fake, poluted beaches of Key West. That’ll solve all the problems.
Q7 – Tell us the political flash points you expect to encounter if elected.
Ans – “Attempts to politicize for personal gain the workings of the city are counter-productive. We must stay vigilant in working together to keep Key West moving forward”.
That’s a non-answer if I ever heard on.
Q8 – Tell us anything you need to explain or any misapprehension you believe voters may have of you.
Ans – “Voters know you can count on Craig Cates to listen to your concerns, act with common sense and continue to make progress on important projects like the new city hall at Glynn Archer”.
Mayor, you didn’t answer the question. Go back and read it again, this time slowly.
Q9 – Give us your view on the partisan divisiveness in politics today and any solution to it you might have.
Ans – All politics is local. We must work together to keep Key West moving forward.
Another non-answer. Go back and read it again mayor.
Q10 – Given that gender equality, income parity, voting rights and sexual preferences continue as big political issues today, tell us which side of the aisle you stand on.
Ans – “In Key West, we vote for the person, not the party. I can say that I am recognized nationally for my support of equality”.
You weren’t asked if you are Republican or Democrat. Where do you stand on each of these issues?
Q11 – And how about immigration, gun control and capital punishment?
Ans – “Unfunded mandates and state laws that tie the hand of local government are why I support home rule as advocated by the National Council of Mayors”.
Once again you are dodging the question. WHERE DO YOU STAND on these issues?
Mayor Cates, you say this is your first time in public office. Well Sir, you are a fast learner. You have not taken a stand on any issue. Four time out of ten questions you state “keep Key West moving forward. Great campain slogen. You have successfuly learned the politicians art of the non-answer to avoid offending anyone. How about an honest answer? At best, Key West is moving sideways if not backwards.
I can see why your favorite movie is “Wizard of Oz” You are the fake picture on the screen while someone else is behind the cutain.
St. Thomas, VI