Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mayoral Race

People are constantly complaining about the failure of the media to cover important issues.  Whether you hate the main stream media, the local media, cable news, talk radio, etc, we can all agree on one thing:  nobody is asking the questions that we care about  Now with an upcoming mayoral election, the anger rises as the media fails to address the true feelings and opinions of the candidates.  The people want to know who these candidates are - not just the platitudes we hear repeated over and over.

With the pending pension battle, Trinity River Vision, transportation issues, and horseradish milkshakes, the city is at a crossroads and we can't rely on certain sources of news to vet our candidates.  Important questions must be answered.  To assist in this process, I have sent each candidate a questionnaire requiring answers for which they will be held accountable.  The candidates have until April 17th to respond and I will post the responses for your review. 

Thank you to Betsy Price and Nicholas Zebrun for responding already.  To the other three (we know who you are), you would be wise to participate.  The citizens of Cowtown do not care for ambivalence when the stakes are this high.

Political Correspondent


Ryan said...

Fortworthology has a great q&a with the candidates. We also met with Dan Barnett for our weekly social at avoca coffee shop last Friday. Where he addressed many issues that you where questioning on here.

Peter B. said...

I look forward to the responses to your Mayoral questions. Thanks for your efforts!

I must admit that I hope that the questions are better-rounded than those posed by Fortworthology. I usually enjoy their blog, but this time, I found myself very disappointed. Their questions seemed clearly biased to one region of Fort Worth and excluded the "Urban Sprawl"(their words, not mine) and other areas outside of Old Fort Worth. Like it or not, those “Urban Sprawl” folks are part of Fort Worth… they make up an enormous portion of the tax base.

The Fortworthology questions seemed to be "leading" & narrow questions for the candidates and as a result, didn't give a real sense of what most of them stood for on many important topics. I do like the idea of well-connected cycling trails, but should that REALLY be the basis of why we elect a mayor (the list of Fortworthology questions would certainly make one think this was on the top of the list of concerns to consider). Where were all the brass-tacks questions regarding the state of financial affairs for FW? The fact that teachers are losing jobs, budgets are challenging, and many streets in Ft. Worth are in great disrepair, didn't seem to bubble to the top of the concerns of Fortworthology's questions at all. I’d like to know how the next mayor will address these issues in a balanced manner for all parts of the city. And, I’d like to know for each candidate: What are the top 5 priorities that you will address once in office.

On a completely separate note ~ I do enjoy your blog and all the great local spots you uncover. Thanks for always providing a good read!

Kevin Buchanan said...


Allow me to answer some of these concerns you have about our questions.

In essence, yes: my questions were heavily biased toward one particular area of Fort Worth, and a certain set of viewpoints. I would hope that would be no surprise, because my site is also heavily biased toward one particular area of Fort Worth and a certain set of viewpoints. Fort Worthology has been, is, and always will be entirely focused on the walkable urban areas of the city and the issues facing them - issues that are, at times, unique to them. I do not, and will not, write about the city's suburban sprawl areas. That isn't my interest, nor is it an interest to the majority of my readership.

My questions were indeed very narrowly focused - but they were narrowly focused on issues that residents of the central city care deeply about (as they were all popular questions with my readership). I did this because the more traditional media in Fort Worth, like the Star-Telegram, were not asking these questions and addressing these issues, and I feel it is important for central city residents and supporters to know where these candidates stand on issues important to them. Your issue with questions about "well-connected cycling trails" is an example - the question was not about simple "cycling trails," but about a comprehensive bicycle transportation system, which is primarily focused on on-street infrastructure to allow people a safe, attractive, and enjoyable alternative to the car for real transportation needs, not simply recreational uses. I believe that is a critically important part of this city's future well-being and absolutely believe that that *should* be a factor in voting for our next mayor, on a par with many other major issues.

I asked questions that haven't been asked, but which are important - I did not wish to ask the same three or four issues of the candidates that everybody else was asking. If I hadn't, I was concerned nobody would - and I believe that our urban issues are going to be far more important to this city's future than many realize, so I chose to set ourselves apart from the traditional media in the area.

You may disagree if you wish, but I stand behind every one of our questions and feel that all of them represent issues that absolutely should be important considerations in voting for our next mayor for folks who wish to create a more urban and livable Fort Worth.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Fear not, gentle reader Peter B. Although I have not asked the exact questions you have posed, I feel confident that the citizenry of Fort Worth will be satiated by the questionnaire and responses. Issues important to this city must be addressed, and the mayoral candidates have the opportunity, nay, the duty, to address those issues here, at your number one local food blog according to Urbanspoon and my mother.

Peter B. said...

Hi Kevin.

Just to clarify, I don’t disagree with your efforts to make the Camp Bowie/7th/Old Fort Worth areas the best that they can be (I respect the passion you have for its improvement). However, most micro-sections of Fort Worth address infrastructure needs such as this with bond packages that are voted on/paid by the citizens that they are most likely to benefit.

I’m afraid my main point may not have been clear: our mayor should not be elected based on the desires, amenities, and transportation needs of any specific section of the city. The new mayor of Fort Worth should be elected because they have the greater good of the city and its citizens in mind ~ fairly balanced North to South, East to West.

Claire said...

The League of Women Voters has been preparing an online Voters Guide that will be available April 26! It includes Fort Worth and several suburbs. Candidates have provided biographical information and answers to a few questions.

We are also hosting a Fort Worth Mayoral Forum at the UNT Health Science Center Auditorium on Wednesday, April 27th at 7pm.

Please visit for more information.

Mr. Hole In The Wall- hope to see you there! I am big fan of the blog!

Cheers to voter education! It is so important to provide voters with unbiased information. I'm excited to check out other Q&A with candidates!

Ginny said...

I'm a little bothered that candidates for mayor of a city that is something like 35% Hispanic don't know what an authentic Mexican restaurant is.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Ginny, what's your favorite? And how is Harry?