Reader alarmed at candidates’ boycott of forum

Editor’s note: The Current has received the following letter from a reader.

Municipal elections are now upon us and the Township of Madawaska Valley is no different. Signs are being put up all over the municipality not only to remind us who we can vote for but to encourage us to get out and vote. Making an informed decision will impact our municipality for the next four years. It is important to know your candidates, their views on matters that concern you, and to ask questions and express your own opinions, so that they themselves know what could be expected of them. Geographically, our municipality is large and reaching residents, both seasonal and year round, can be difficult. We live in a digital world … so why not use the internet!

The Madawaska Valley Current has set up an online Municipal Election “Town Hall” forum to encourage residents and ratepayers to pose questions to the candidates that are of concern, regarding our Municipality. The candidates then have the opportunity to express their opinions and views on each of the topics that are posted. I see The Current acting as a conduit between the two parties, providing information not only to the candidates but also back to the electorate.

All candidates are participating in this Town Hall except for three: Mayor Love and Councillors Maika and Peplinski. It is public knowledge that The Current and some members of Council did not, shall I say, see “eye to eye” on certain matters since The Current newspaper, online and print versions, began in January 2018. Participating in this forum gives these candidates the opportunity to reach out to a large number of rate payers and residents, and answer questions that concern everyone. Not only does this give them an opportunity to present their agendas but it also allows them to explain some decisions that were made during the past four years. Sometimes, that is all people want … a simple explanation!

So, WHY THE BOYCOTT? To Councillors Maika and Peplinski, one, or maybe both of you, could be elected to council next term. Does it mean that, by not responding, we can’t hold you accountable? Or is it, because you could be guaranteed a seat on council, you feel you are not obligated to answer questions? You are all being paid by our tax dollar and all readers are asking is that you respond, irregardless of the media outlet. Step up to the plate, put aside your differences, be responsible and use every opportunity to express your views and opinions so that we, the electorate, can make an informed decision in the coming election. Show us that you will represent the WHOLE of the municipality. You should be uniting not dividing!

Linda Neuman

Madawaska Valley

5 Comments

  1. Nat Hall

    Maybe they do not trust The Current and or the other press sources I know I would not , The Current is new as is the radio station I will not even bring up the other source …. axes to grind axes to grind ! Pity that one can not trust any form of press in a community even if they do not except advertising ! We know some are bias due to it but why would not others that do not except it be any different, so who do you answer too ? I want pure UN-Bias reporting on the issues and even more so during elections so far I have not seen what I want in the press locally just My Opinion .

  2. Ray Chapeskie

    Although I am not in that township anymore, I wish to support Linda Neuman’s sentiments. And to Love, Maika and Peplinski: Is this a campaign to get elected or not? I cringe when someone thinks they have an inside track, and don’t have to answer to all the constituents.

  3. Barb Cardwell

    I too fully agree with Linda Neuman. It’s childish and unprofessional of our Mayor and Councillors to ‘boycott’ The Current just because they don’t agree with some of the editorial content. If you want to be in politics you really need a thicker skin than that and you can’t take these things personally. To me, their silence speaks volumes about their characters, and I for one will not vote for anyone who behaves in this manner. Seems like there’s a growing segment of our population that feels the same way.

  4. Yvette Boudreau-Smith

    Thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront Linda. It is disturbing. I would hope that anyone vying for a municipal role would have the ability to act in a professional and equitable manner. Certainly NOT answering questions is far more telling and reinforces negative perceptions.

  5. Linda Bleskie

    Thank you Ms. Neuman for addressing this issue. Wholeheartedly agree that all candidates should be participating in this forum in order for people to make informed decisions. How you respond to tax payers questions speaks volumes about who you are and what you stand for!

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