Are Democrats Refusing to Debate Because their Promises Lack Credibility?
Saturday, October 19, 2013 • 11:26pm
While saying they are “disappointed” that the Democrat candidates refuse to debate, council candidates Robert Richkus and Ray Rusnak this week questioned whether it’s because their opponents have failed to do their homework.
“It’s like someone applying for a job and refusing to go to the interview,” said Rusnak, the council president. “By contrast, you have someone like Robert Richkus who is anxious to debate, has been attending council meetings for two years, and understands the issues.”
“The fact that they won’t debate makes you question whether they can defend their positions,” Richkus added. “How will people know whether their promises are credible?”
Rusnak said the Democrats’ latest promise is an example of what he and Richkus mean. “They want to add another park, which is fine, but the property they are talking about is contaminated.”
Mayor Matt Anesh said he would question the idea’s wisdom: “Last time the Democrats were in control they purchased contaminated property for recreational purposes and it cost taxpayers a fortune to clean up. We can’t afford to let that happen again.”
The Democrat candidates did not attend a single council meeting in 2012 and they’ve missed 70% of them this year. In addition, while they’ve criticized the town’s parks and the library expansion, neither candidate has bothered to attend a Recreation Commission meeting or Library Board meeting.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but the people on these boards work extremely hard,” said Rusnak. “It would be nice if the Democrat candidates had at least consulted them before criticizing their work.”
“We welcome a healthy discussion of the issues,” said Richkus. “Unfortunately, that’s difficult when the other side won’t participate.”
In the absence of a debate, both Richkus and Rusnak said they urge voters to look at the candidates’ records. “It’s results versus promises,” Rusnak said. “I know the Democrats keep promising they can ‘do better,’ but it’s hard to know how if they won’t answer questions.”
“We also know that their party had a chance to do better but couldn’t,” said Richkus. “That’s why I decided to run. I saw the job Mayor Anesh’s team is doing and wanted to be part of it.”
Because the debate won’t take place, voters should feel free to contact Richkus at 908.941.5120 or Rusnak at 908.561.7076 with any questions. Both want to be as accessible as possible.