Editorial: Our recommendations for Newcastle City Council

October 7, 2009

By Staff

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Newcastle voters are lucky to have six candidates running for the three City Council seats up for election this year. We have no doubt that all of the six could do the job.

But there is much contention on the current council, and the three who win election in November must be able to build community consensus, communicate well, understand what’s best for the city, have a long-range vision and be willing to make some tough budget decisions without dipping into reserves.We are concerned the election might be reduced to an unintentional slate of candidates that pit the men versus the women, based on their views on a few key issues. There is so much more at stake than that, and diversity of opinion should be welcomed.

Position 5 — Rich Crispo

Both candidates are new faces running for council. Karin Blakley has solid grassroots experience that shows leadership potential, but not quite yet. Rich Crispo has been attending City Council meetings as a concerned citizen for many years and has the knowledge to step right in. After managing $100 million budgets at Boeing, he doesn’t see a budget problem for the city, just a need to better prioritize. Crispo’s straight-shooting common sense may be too direct for some, but he’ll do well as the people’s advocate.

Position 6 — Kandy Schendel

Kandy Schendel is a newcomer to city government compared to her opponent, Bill Erxleben, who served on the City Council from 2002-2007. But Erxleben chose not to stand for re-election in 2007 to give someone else a shot at the job. Schendel is one of those who deserve a shot.

She’s like a breath of fresh air with a positive but realistic vision for the city. With her years of PTA leadership and current experience as chair of the city’s Planning Commission, she’s as ready as she can be. Schendel will be an excellent City Council member.

Position 7 — John Dulcich

The choice is between incumbent Jean Garber — a 12-year council member — and John Dulcich — a 13-year council member, until 2007. Both have served as Newcastle mayor. Both have a long history of proven leadership and careers in business management. But Garber thinks all is rosy in Newcastle, while Dulcich has a more realistic understanding of what it will take to get Newcastle financially sound again, even if that means layoffs at City Hall. We’d like to see Dulcich return to the council.

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