lowest spender among candidates

Campaign cash shouldn’t sway votes.

Candidates for Jackson Town Council filed reports for fund-raising last week, and once again I am proud to be the lowest spender — by far.

The biggest spender, Hailey Morton, has raised more than $12,000 and will outspend my campaign by four to one, while the next two, Jim Genzer and Phil Cameron, will more than double the modest sum I have raised.

“Morton’s total since filing in May ­— $12,634 — is nearly double the closest candidate,” the News&Guide reported. “For the general election, her funds came from 41 donors, including $250 from Mayor Mark Barron and Rep. Ruth Ann Petroff, R-Jackson.”

I have said from the beginning that elections should not be about money, especially at the local level. Voters can take heart that I will be careful about spending their money. I have run a campaign the way I have pledged to run town government: lean and efficient.

can’t you read the signs?

View looking east on Broadway near Flat Creek.

At the outset of my campaign for town council, I encountered skepticism from political veterans who doubted whether I could win without yard signs. So far, the response has been fantastic. We’ll find out for sure in six days.

Now that the community has been inundated for another month with these plastic and paper placards, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate their effectiveness.

As the photo above illustrates, a driver heading east on Broadway is confronted by a barrage of confusing and even conflicting messages: guns, Turley, education, 2 acres for sale. In the second or two it takes to pass this display, the brain strains to even process the imagery. And let’s not touch the garish lawn of Cutty’s, a biennial eyesore.

Around town, there are so many Morton, Cameron and Genzer signs everywhere that it’s hard to tell whether any has some sort of visual advantage. (Assume every house without a sign supports Stanford. Just kidding!)

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concern about Walgreens

The Walgreens proposal is in the early stages, facing preliminary design review.

One of the issues I’ve been asked about most following the League of Women Voters forum is the proposed Walgreens store on Broadway east of Sidewinders. Please don’t allow it, several voters have urged.

I certainly do not relish the prospect of another chain store opening on Jackson’s main street, and I have seen neighbors rally against a Walgreens elsewhere.

But the town council has to be fair in considering the proposal. We live in a free market. What the council can do is make sure the building meets the regulations, has sufficient parking and employee housing, fits the surroundings, doesn’t have a gaudy sign out front and doesn’t snarl traffic. Those are the types of concerns I would address.

What I have emphasized, starting with the LWV forum, is that consumers have more power to vote with their dollars. I have seen chain businesses come and go in Jackson: Polo and Benetton on the Town Square, KFC and Arby’s along Broadway, to name a few.

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