Brigantine Candidates Avoiding Public Debate?

Are the Brigantine candidates for office avoiding a public debate? Anne Phillips of the Taxpayers Association thinks so.

The upcoming election is probably the MOST important one in 100 years. Do the voters really know how each candidate could help Brigantine? Read the following letter that Anne wrote to the editor of the BeachComber Newspaper.

To the editor: This November, Brigantine’s voters in each of our city’s four wards will have candidates from both the Democrat and Republican parties from which to choose. These voters should be able to see, hear and question these eight candidates as they present themselves and their platforms at the same time and place in a candidates forum. Such a forum is an open-to-all, orderly by-the-rules meeting moderated by an impartial, competent, well-known and respected third party.

The Brigantine Taxpayers Association, an independent civic organization, has sponsored such meetings before, moderated by the League of Women Voters.

Two months ago we took the initiative again and proposed such a forum for this November’s City council election. During this time we contacted both political parties, secured the cooperation of the League, and worked to arrange a date and place agreeable to all involved. Also, we were told that the Brigantine Chamber of Commerce wanted to co-sponsor the meeting with the BTA. We agreed, glad to have it aboard.

In order to keep not only our members informed, but also to make the community aware of a still-present unhealthy partisan-political culture in Brigantine, we present these facts.

The Democrats supported such a forum. Initially, the Republicans appeared to support it also. We were hopeful that the “New Republicans” would be truly different from the “Old Republicans.” If this instance is an example, they will have to try harder. After being shuffled from one party representative to another, and finally, to the out-of-town campaign manager who become unreachable, the purpose of all these devious, non-responsive delaying tactics became obvious. What is their excuse for non-participation? It’s the same one used by the “Old Republicans.”

The Brigantine Taxpayers Association with its concerned members who ask questions about our government is too “political” and must be shunned!

We hope that such a properly moderated forum will still take place.

Anne H. Phillips

Brigantine Taxpayers Association

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