Monday, October 22, 2007

Harvey, Naugle, Zherdev

Sunday Sunday Sunday. Most weekends find me playing the part of the man Frank the Tank has become at the outset of the movie Old School:

Frank: I told my wife I wouldn't drink tonight. Besides, I got a big day tomorrow. You guys have a great time.
College Student: A big day? Doing what?
Frank: Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time.*

What's even worse is that unlike Frank, I don't break out of that rut through spontaneous regression to house-partying, I do it by chatting up a mayoral candidate, emailing with another blogger, and going to a hockey game, and I'm sincerely happy with, and exhausted from, the day at the end of it.

So to start - Bill Harvey. I'm planning on doing longer pieces/conversations with several candidates over the next two weeks, and this is the first. I wrote after the C of C forum that Mr. Harvey was a traditional mayoral candidate and that there weren't any surprises. Of course, there's a reason that traditions develop. Mr. Harvey believes that Bexley's significant problems are financial, specifically a potential 2 million dollar budget deficit. Furthermore, he believes that his financial experience exceeds that of the other candidates. So if you buy those two premises, he believes you'll vote for him.

It's a nice 30 second pitch that sounds better in person than from the table. After chatting about blogs, media, and electoral politics more generally, I should have pushed harder at the cost-cutting side of the finance equation, but I was more focused on revenue. We discussed how hard Bexley could be hit if the legislature isn't mindful of the consequences of Estate Tax reform, and he re-iterated his position that government buildings should not be getting in the way of commercial development on Main St.

Mr. Harvey hasn't spent a lot of energy working out plans for the North or South gateways, a subject he admits requires some more thought, but he did respond quickly when I asked about the Woodland Meadows property. Somewhat to my surprise he favors aggressively pursuing the parcel for the city. As he says, it's a one time opportunity to get that extra land, and even though it would take "real money, right now" to purchase the parcel during a period in which Harvey himself says budget cutting will be a priority, he believes that Bexley would regret passing up the opportunity. He suggested that some combination of the City, School District, Capital Univ., and perhaps CSG and/or St. Charles could collaborate.

At some point I cut the conversation short, as I had a hockey game to go to. It was a comfortable conversation, and that's not always easy to pull off.

It's even tougher when you start the conversation with insults. Matt Naugle of Right Angle Blog commented on the race last week, I took offense and commented on the comment. Mr. Naugle took offense in turn and emailed me. I sent a somewhat testy email explaining myself back. Mr. Naugle sent what seemed to be a sincerely friendly email back. So, I apologize for the insulting tone of my last post, and I hope that Matt and I can both be so friendly when we run into each other in person, which is apparently not unlikely in the near future.

I hope we can at least be more civil than Charlotte. You wouldn't believe the trash talk that comes out of that girl's mouth. Here she's saying "Hey Henrik, are you the okay Sedin twin or the one that sucks?"

Don't be too hard on her. Nik Zherdev gave up the turnover that led to the empty-netter right in front of her. It's enough to make anyone cranky, dream seats or no.

*Quote via commenter on this site.

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