Letter: Candidate comments at recent forum left a bad first impression

Editor,

I read with interest your news coverage of the local candidates’ forum at the Elks Lodge on Sept. 19. I was particularly struck by the comments made by Michael Crawford, who raised some valid points.

Certainly, the city’s permitting process might be steamlined. But much of what Mr. Crawford said raised red flags. First, Mr. Crawford’s mantra of “build, build, build” was disturbingly reminiscent of Sarah Palin’s similar chant of “drill, baby, drill.”

Both struck me as simplistic proposals to solve complex issues with insufficient concern for attendant long-term consequences.

Then, Mr. Crawford complained about the city spending funds on a “tubular leaf sculpture.” In my view, if a candidate is unable to recognize the value of public art and public spaces, and the basic quality-of-life issues, then he is not someone from whom the city and its citizens would benefit.

Finally, candidate Crawford seemed unwilling to raise public funds to repair our crumbling streets. Perhaps he would have us just close our parks and sell off our existing public art to raise the funds.

It seems to me that Oak Harbor would be best served by intelligent, thoughtful, balanced development which recognizes the value of open public spaces and community art.

I believe that Mayor Severns and the existing council have strived for, and have generally achieved that balance. With regard to Mr. Crawford, I miss Rick Almberg already.

Dr. Bernd Fischer

Oak Harbor

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