To the Editor,
I am writing this letter in support of Adam Bierman for Princeton Council and to report what I feel is the political chicanery that is depriving all of us voters, and Bierman, of a transparent and open candidate’s debate. Let me put this in context.
Local Princeton elections have a proud history of having town hall type debates. These forums are a chance for the community to get together and discuss significant issues with their local candidates. They allow the aspiring contenders to gain insight, understanding and appreciation for their constituents concerns.
It is also a two way dialogue where the candidates are tested for their speaking style, command of the issues and grace under pressure when potentially unexpected questions are thrown their way.
There is no substitute for this face to face dialogue. It is real engagement; one cannot hide with a stale canned speech. In this isolating and digital age, meeting face to face is more important than ever to get the community pulse on issues that truly matter to people, like our tax rates, affordable housing or how much the latest corruption/public health scandal at the River Road facility is going to cost taxpayers.
Unfortunately, the Oct. 22 Princeton Council forum will not continue the open, transparent tradition.
Due to logistical issues, it will be held in the tiny Princeton TV studio, with no live audience. The losers will be openness and transparency for the citizenry. Bierman’s opponents, I have heard, were too busy to set a date for the event earlier. When they finally did set a date, no large venues were available. Could this have been a premeditated political calculation? Here’s a thought, does anyone else have a venue they want to offer for a robust, audience filled debate?
PS- I would like to thank Chrystal Schivell and the League of Women Voters for their support of our democratic ideals and the tenacity in finally being able to get this forum scheduled even without the voters!
Walter J Krieg