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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Politics and elections

I have 14 people running for the Board of Supervisors this year, and two more running unopposed.

With so many people running for one body of government, how can a journalist write interesting articles that give everyone a chance to speak?

I’d like to pick the brains of our readers. You can send me a private e-mail.  I want to start pumping out election stories like a well-oiled press pumps out newspapers. But the problem that confronts me is repetitiveness and boring the readers.

What would you like to see?

One idea I have is to make much of the election material online. I could come up with some online podcast forum once a week for each district. Another idea I have is a forum for each district where the readers ask the questions.

In today’s paper, we read about the Chamber’s forum sponsored by builders and realtors. Two candidates refused to attend because special interest groups form the questions. I have a list of the questions, and they are all building-related.But many of these questions, I believe, candidates should answer.

For example, “Would you support the use of eminent domain for Crow’s Nest?”
That’s a valid question to ask each candidate, no matter who is sponsoring the event, right?

Or, “Do you support set asides for affordable and workforce housing in new developments?”
This is a question I actually will ask some candidates because Spotsylvania supervisors have been unwilling to vote on adding an affordable housing element to the comprehensive land-use plan before the elections. Why did they decide to table it? And what do the new candidates think about it?  I didn’t know affordable housing is such a controversial subject. Why is it?

Spotsylvania candidates will answer that question because I will ask it.

Don’t let me digress here. My point is I want some input. I don’t think my editors want me to fill the paper every week with Spotsylvania elections—especially when we have a host of other localities with elections. But I know I can get some great play on the Web site, and offer some interactive forums for our readers that will help them make decisions for this election.

So, e-mail me at dtelvock@freelancestar.com or call me at 374-5438. Pass me your ideas. Offer some questions you want me to ask.

But, in the next few weeks I am hoping the Free Lance-Star can provide you with valuable, useful information when it comes time to vote.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/spotsygovt/2007/08/21/politics-and-elections/

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