Candidate’s forum a good idea, but time constraints frustrating
I attended the Westside NAACP meet the candidates’ event on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Columbus Park Refectory.

The idea of candidates (prospective public servants, prospective keepers of the public trust) coming face to face with constituents to tell why they ought to receive public support on Election Day is a good one. Especially nowadays when most of their “campaigns” consist of sticking name placards along roadsides and in front yards. So I was disappointed at the format.

Prospective public servants were allowed only two minutes to present their ideas, policies, platforms, and themselves to the citizens attending. They were allowed only one minute to respond to questions.

The rationale given for this format was that “We must keep on schedule.” To be sure, there were many candidates for offices ranging from judges, state representatives and senators to Cook County sheriff, county board and water reclamation board.

But when I weigh the importance of voting for someone to keep (rather than to violate or ignore) the public trust versus keeping on schedule, then keeping on schedule doesn’t even rate.

Perhaps there ought to have been fewer offices presented on that day. Perhaps each office could have had a morning or an afternoon assigned on consecutive Saturdays. Perhaps the event ought to have been a debate between candidates running.

I am told that holding public office is important. I am told that voting is important. I am told that having information about candidates and their policies is important.

Now I have been told “keeping on schedule” is more important. Huh?

Melville Regulus

Thanks from a grateful public servant
I am so pleased and indeed so grateful that you saw fit to list my loving, departed wife, Mrs. Alzata C. Pincham, among those to be remembered that “we lost in 2005.”(Dec. 29 Austin Weekly News) Thank you ever so much for your thoughtfulness and your kindness.

Again, I am truly grateful.

R. Eugene Pincham

Smith is M.I. A. in candidate story
This letter is addressing the featured article, “Candidates Square Off” fromFeb. 22. It was primarily disappointing to read your selective coverage on the state candidates. James T. Smith was not only listed as a panel candidate, he was also present at the forum. However, reading your article that featured every state candidate, either by quotation and/or photo, with the exclusion of James T. Smith, would suggest him to be missing in action. It is my perception that this is a form of censorship. Your article was at best an opportunity to showcase and inform and at worst a missed opportunity to demonstrate equality and inclusiveness of one, in your words James White, Democratic opponent for Illinois State Senator, 4th district.

Rejeta M. Saunders