Words by Alyssa Stevenson, Images by Will Milne and Wesley Kirk
Last night we hosted our 4th annual City Council Candidate forum at Dan's Silverleaf. As per usual, the candidates had some great things to say, the crowd was full of civic-minded citizens and Jill Jester stole the show with some great jokes and hard questions. Read on for pics, quotes and where to find the best live stream of the night.
Is happy hour a cornerstone of democracy? You betcha. Which is why we like to host our annual city council forum in the heart of Denton, Dan's Silverleaf. This year, as with the years in the past, we had a lively panel of candidates answer some great questions about the future of our city, the ways in which they serve our city, and what their goals are in the long run. And, as per usual, we got some great answers.
We asked the candidates these four questions:
1. What goes into the City preparing for the growth we know is coming?
2. In what respect have you been misunderstood in this race, and what would you like to clarify?
3. From the Ryan HS AP Gov. class: How would you address the issue of high school dropouts? Could the city provide vocational or skills training for those who left high school but are now too old to return?
And these were some of our favorite answers:
1. "I am everywhere." "I am single, I am childless, and I have a lot of energy." - Dr. Emily White on why you should vote for her during her closing statements
2. "Win or lose, I'm not moving." - Frances Hawes, during her closing statements.
3. "Just because they dropped out of high school doesn't mean we aren't responsible for them anymore. We need to remind our youth that they are not disposable." - Frances Hawes on the dropout problem in Denton
4. "I am not the natural gas king of Denton. I wish I was, but I'm not." - Jason Cole, on general misunderstandings and misconceptions through the election
5. "John Ryan is Mr. Spock. You gotta have Mr. Spock to get the thing going!" - Jason Cole on why he loves John Ryan so much. He doled out some classic compliments (and maybe had a mini roast) during his closing statements
6. "I helped make sure that we recognized our black history along the rail trail." - Paul Meltzer, on recognizing the past, beyond Quakertown, and proving what he has helped accomplish in town
7. "I helped identify our previous city manager did not believe in open government." - John Ryan on solving problems in Denton
8. "My passion can be mistaken for anger. My no shit approach can be seen as harsh. No more questions on Facebook. I'll answer anything in person, face to face." - Amanda Servis on misconceptions during the race
9. "I want to make sure everyone has a voice, even if we disagree." - Gerard Hudspeth
10. "I don't want to talk about the tax freeze anymore. The amount of money we're talking about is a nothing burger in comparison." - Don Duff on the budget, the tax-freeze, and misconceptions during the race
If you missed it and want more, check out our Facebook Livestream here, or follow our live-tweets from last night, which are all tagged #wddivotes. And don't forget, democracy doesn't work without you, the informed voter! Early voting is April 24 - May 2, and the final election day is May 6th.