Monday, October 24, 2011

LW Playhouse NAPC Candidate Forum 2011 - Update

Here are some stills that I took before the event.  I am currently uploading video clips that I took during the goings-on.  There was a lot of it that I got, however the battery turned out to be the limiting factor this time - not the card.  There are the openings and closings, along with much of the first half and middle part of the debate.  The weak battery didn't allow me to get much of the second half, but there are a few things that stood out while the camera was quiet.
The Playhouse was packed to the rafters and they passed hats at the beginning in support of the Playhouse - always a good cause.
John Rinaldi turned out to moderate the event.  Apparently John Bachman of WPEC could not make it tonight due to personal reasons.  There were times when some in the audience thought that Mr. Rinaldi stepped outside of the "moderator" role and entered the editorial zone.  There was one time, I am not sure that I got it on a video clip,  where he let the crowd go on for quite some time moaning about the direction of the question.  All in all, I think he did a good job in a position that he had little familiarity and given the highly charged environment.  However, there might have been other more neutral person that could have been less of a lightning rod.
Things worth remembering while the camera wasn't on:  Mayor Waterman came across patronizing at times.  One was where, after Pam Triolo made some observations about the budget, Mayor Waterman pointed out some misconceptions on Pam's part and then invited her to come to the Mayor's office so that she could explain parts of the budget to her.  Dustin Zacks picked up on that and said that it was nice of the Mayor to offer the opportunity for Pam to come to her, but that we were denied the opportunity for the Mayor to come to us during the last two neighborhood forums - ZINGER!  Another time, after Andy Amoroso was talking about running his business and trying to pay the new assessments on his business while selling things with small mark-ups like candy, for example.  This was after Mayor Waterman brought up the assessments being equal to $110 bar tabs in the downtown.  That was a bizarre analogy to digest and she seemed to dwell on it for a while.  I don't know too many people who have $110 bar tabs.  If they do, I hope they aren't driving.  Anyway, when it came around to her again, she said "Can-dy" in a very mocking and drawn-out way.  It came off as the Mayor casting aspersions to some one trying to make a living selling things in the downtown.
Commissioner Jo-Ann Golden gets the prize for the only candidate that brought up the Lucerne again.  Ancient history to be sure, but she used it in reference to her attempt to take over the CRA three times in four and a half years.  The Lucerne was LONG before those attempts Ms. Golden and she barely touched the real reasons.  Andy Amoroso did a good job reminding us that Commissioner Golden used Publix and the Palm Beach Cultural Council assistance as examples of "improper decisions" and some of the reasons used for her 2011 attempt to take over that agency.
Mayor Waterman chatting beforehand with Patricia Pearl Fitzpatrick Eisenhuer Oliphant, a member of her kitchen cabinet.
There were also some pregnant pauses during the evening - like only one candidate responding to the question about being open with their personal finances during the campaign.  Strange how that one person that responded was not Mayor Waterman.  Huh.  The other one that drew a lot of silence was a question on the beach project and tenant qualifications.
The various sides were pretty much equally represented and the applause seemed balanced, for the most part.
All-in-all it was an entertaining and informative way to spend the evening.  I'll be posting the videos I have as they are processed through YouTube.
I also have problems with Mayor Waterman's "lovers and haters" theme in her closing statement, but more on that later.