Election season is clearly upon us, and in full swing. With Election Day just over a week away signs for the candidates are visible all over town and many contenders have been seen around town speaking with the public over the past several weeks.
There are two candidates who are noticeably less present in reaching out to the public. Both mayoral candidates have been less than stellar in getting out there to the general public. Prospective mayor Chris Jones and current mayor Mark Lauretti have not been quite as visible to the general public as many other candidates.
Lauretti has his reputation as Shelton’s mayor for the past 20 years to fall back on in winning votes but Jones does not have the same luxury. Yes, the candidates have been present at public events such as Shelton Day but that is not quite the same as reaching out to the general public.
Jones does have a large web-based presence with a campaign website, a blog and Facebook page dedicated to his campaign whereas Lauretti has well, nothing it would seem. For those who do have access to the internet, this is a great tool to learn more about the Democratic candidate but for those without, it is just another way in which the public is not receiving enough information on the contenders this election cycle.
The biggest issue preventing the general public from being able to have their questions and concerns addressed before the election is the refusal on Lauretti’s part to participate in a debate. Lauretti has said he will not debate Jones because the candidate did not agree to a debate in 2009. According to Jones, this was because that year it was very last minute and largely unorganized. Really, it doesn’t matter why a debate was not held last election cycle.
Refusing to debate simply because once upon a time your opponent said no is childish. The past is in the past and there is no need to point out what did or did not happen two years ago. The public deserves to hear the candidates for Shelton mayor discuss their goals, their priorities and their views in a public forum prior to the election.
Lauretti cannot ride solely on his past experience as Shelton’s mayor in order to win elections but that is what he seems to be doing election cycle after election cycle. He has blatantly stated that he believes this is quite enough to get him reelected, and is part of the reasoning he uses in passing on a debate this time around. At the same time, Jones cannot continue to point out the flaws in the current administration without providing a counter plan.
People in Shelton know what does and does not work with the current administration. What the public deserves in the short time before the next election is a clear discussion from the candidates about what they intend to do over the next two years to help Shelton to thrive.