Why are candidates afraid to attend?

| 15 Oct 2019 | 01:34

    In the past 9 years, I attended one VTA meeting, a few weeks ago when the public was invited to attend. Cherie Shortway, Toni Cilli, Peg Distasi, and Scott Ghysels also attended. The meeting was about scheduling a Vernon candidates’ forum.

    After that meeting, Mayor Harry Shortway told the VTA he would not participate in the October 16 forum, making false statements about me as the reason he will not attend. He said I was in opposition to having the League of Women Voters moderate the forum. That is a total lie. The truth is I was the one to recommend the LWV, saying they are fair, impartial, and have integrity. I proved Shortway’s statement false by posting for all an excerpt from the meeting recording, proving I had recommended the LWV.

    Now Cherie Shortway has made yet another false statement. She said, "Jessi was pretty insistent on placing preconceived questions in the hands of the League of Women voters."

    When discussing the format, Toni Cilli wanted questions in advance. I suggested in addition to LWV taking questions from the public, they might take 3-4 questions that night from the VTA as well. Nothing whatsoever was “preconceived.”

    Now Jean Murphy, who was attending the forum, won't attend, claiming, "There have been discussions about this forum by the VTA of which I [she] was not included." This is false. The VTA discussed format, date, location, etc. No one had a special invitation. No one was excluded. The VTA put out a general statement the meeting was open to the public, which is why I went.

    Why are these candidates so afraid to discuss issues and answer public questions that they have to resort to blaming others and making up false stories for not attending? People who will not answer to the public do not deserve your vote.

    Jessi Paladini

    Highland Lakes