Editorial: Straight answers trump money

Oak Harbor is small enough that money isn’t everything - or even nearly everything - in politics. It’s more important how long you’ve been around, who you know, your history of working with others, and your ability to give straight, honest answers that will decide who will be the next mayor.

The city has three candidates seeking to replace retiring Mayor Patty Cohen. As reported in Saturday’s News-Times, Jim Slowik, a former school board member who now sells used cars, is by far the leading fund-raiser with more than $15,000 on hand. Challenger Sue Karahalios, a former state legislator and present city council member, has only a couple of thousand, while Paul Brewer, the Navy base’s recycling czar and the city council’s resident iconoclast, proudly claims to have no money.

In this dead-of-summer campaign season for the new August 21 primary election, the most direct and least expensive path to success is old fashioned straight talk. When asked by the public about priorities, don’t obfuscate, dodge, bob and weave, generalize, or call for further study. Just tell it to them straight. If your priority is helping business, say so. If you want the long-pursued city pier to actually materialize, say so. If you want the Windjammer Plan followed to a T, say so. And promise to stick to your number one priority until it actually exists.

The public is tired of promises, plans, studies and discussions. It wants something concrete accomplished, and the candidate who can most clearly describe what he or she wants to do as mayor will have a good shot at winning, regardless of how many dollars they have in their campaign chest.

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