NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Local photographer Anthony "Tony" Israel couldn't find the answers he wanted from the candidates running for office so he set out to get them himself. The following is a statement we got from Israel on what he did and why he did it, plus the link to the blog he created to post the statements.
We congratulate him on his efforts and welcome anyone wishing to help keep our readers informed:
In an effort to promote easy access to information about all North Adams candidates running for City Council, a Web site featuring candidates addressing issues in their own words is now accessible at www.nacouncil.blogspot.com. The Web site, created by North Adams resident Tony Israel, currently contains responses to a set of questions by nine out of the 15 candidates running for office. The questions presented to the candidates are nonpartisan in nature and the answers are recorded directly in the words of the candidates. The goal is to give the voters of North Adams one place to familiarize themselves with the candidates for the City Council.
Questions range from biographical information and the role of a council member to what the candidates' visions are for North Adams in 10 years and issues such as economic development, housing, crime, and conservation.
"The reason I have done this," said Israel, "is that I have found it very hard to find information about the candidates for City Council, and this was making it hard for me to make an informed decision. A democracy is only as healthy as its citizens are robust in their participation. It is my hope that by posing these questions and posting the responses online, that people will have greater opportunity to participate in the shaping of our town by having better access to information."
The blog also features links to the Web sites of the two candidates for mayor of North Adams, incumbent John Barrett III and challenger Richard Alcombright.
More information on the candidates can be found in the City Council debate story and press releases are posted on the Election Page.
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