Dear editor, Last Tuesday I attended the Rotary forum with the City Council candidates.
Each candidate was invited to participate and was given one minute for introduction, followed by a two-minute answer four related questions on homelessness, downtown, economic development and city budget priorities. At the conclusion, candidates were given one minute to summarize what set them apart from the other. Candidates were not given the questions in advance and had to be prepared in advance.
I made some important observations that I think voters should be aware of because there are few forums where they can really understand how prepared the candidates are to represent Gilroy. City government is complicated and is not elementary. We need to elect servants who can represent us well by knowing and understanding all the issues that face our city, and candidates demonstrate they are committed by being well prepared for events like this.
I couldn’t help but notice how clear the difference was between the candidates, their understanding of the issues and their plans. Dan Harney, Marie Blankley and Dion Bracco were clear and concise about their actionable plans for each topic. Considering the looming financial challenges facing Gilroy, we should elect candidates who can clearly state how they prioritize our tax dollars for public safety, infrastructure and quality of life.
We should not elect individuals because they are disappointed how our city government has operated in recent years. What is their plan? It was not evident at this forum.
I was born and raised in Gilroy, and now I am a local small business owner and a proud new father. I want a council that can plan for our future and is committed to representing us by understanding the issues and one with a clear strategic plan. It’s regrettable that there are few forums like this one where candidates can present their plans to the voters because the future of Gilroy depends on strong leadership.