Elections are about options.
Candidates for political office are supposed to give voters options, varying points of view, differing visions and plans for the future and communicate those options to the public.
But, how can those options be known if candidates refuse to debate or even be interviewed?
Such is the case in the election for mayor of Parkersburg.
One candidate, incumbent mayor Bob Newell, a Democrat, may not always want to talk to the media, but he does. He makes himself available to answer questions, be interviewed and present what he sees as the future needs for Parkersburg.
On the other hand, city council member and Republican candidate for mayor Sharyn Tallman avoids the media whenever possible, repeatedly refusing to participate in a televised debate with Newell and refusing to be interviewed by The News and Sentinel pertaining to her vision for the city if she were elected mayor. In fact, she has written a condemnation letter to the newspaper pertaining to the reporter who is assigned to cover city government, accusing him of being "unprofessional," presumably because he is charged by the newspaper with presenting both sides of an issue, not just Tallman's.
Pertaining to her plans if elected, Tallman has written that she would only respond to written questions emailed to her and subsequently indirectly "demanded" her full campaign platform be published as her response to two questions.
If one candidate is willing to share his vision for the future and one is not, if one candidate is willing to communicate through the media and one is not, if one candidate is providing options and one is not, if one is willing to participate in debates and interviews and one is not, who should the public see as being more open to serving the public good? Who should the public see as being more open to their wants? Who should the public see as being more capable of getting a message out to the public?
If a candidate cannot express views, visions and plans through the media, the public is denied knowledge of what actions the candidate wants to take or would take. More importantly, there would not be any way for the public to know what actions the candidate did take if such a reclusive candidate were elected.
There is no excuse for such one-sided disregard for the public.