There is something very disappointing and disgusting about candidates who refuse to answer questions pertaining to an election. Such actions might say more about a candidate than anything that actually passes their lips.
There also is something very questionable about any candidate who wants all questions in writing and then responds in a long diatribe, wanting their prepared, buffered, pampered, rhetoric-filled statement used in its entirety, while at the same time purporting to have an open-door policy to anyone and everyone if elected.
How do the two obvious opposites balance out?
The concept of an election is for candidates to express their views, telling the public and potential voters the direction they believe a nation, state, county or city should take and offering their ideas on how to get there. In other words, an open, free flow of information to the electorate so the voter can make an informed choice, which also is what elections are about.
When candidates refuse to participate in debates, refuse to be interviewed, refuse to respond to questioning, it can only make the candidate's viability suspect and questionable, while making one wonder what type of elected official the candidate would be.
Such is the case with Parkersburg mayoral candidate Sharyn Tallman.
No politician likes the news media, that's a given because the media has a habit of asking questions elected officials would rather not answer. Most politicians would rather have all questions submitted in writing and then respond with written replies that don't necessarily answer the questions but merely give their oft-repeated, prepared political platform pabulum. The problem with that is it doesn't allow for a free flow of followup questions nor does it permit any in-depth discussion of proposed plans, both of which hurts the public's ability to understand exactly what a candidate is proposing and how that candidate would accomplish his/her proposals.
A candidate telling the media and the electorate he/she is going to refuse to be interviewed in essence is refusing to inform the electorate, which is beyond my comprehension. Such is the case with Tallman and her hatred of the media and her lack of sharing her ideas with the public through the media.
The News and Sentinel has given Tallman multiple chances to be interviewed and share her vision with the public, but she has declined, instead attacking the newspaper and the reporter assigned to cover city hall. The reporter even has been accused of being the "media manager" for the sitting mayor, which is so far from the truth that it borders on liable and defamation of character and is beyond laughable. Such an accusation is not only insulting to the reporter and the newspaper, but I take it very personally.
Most smart politicians learn how to use the media to get their "talking points" and proposals out to the public. Tallman has never learned that in her years on city council. She apparently only wants to be the negative voice and keep her reasoning to herself and her inner circle who never go public with their insults, instead hiding in the dark recesses of cyberspace.
Candidates who don't share their views with the public through the media bode for hard times for a city.
I knew of such a candidate in a Louisiana city. She and Tallman nearly are carbon copies. She was elected mayor by "her" people, predominantly senior citizens for whom she previously had been a nursing home director. The public quickly learned she could not be trusted nor approached, would not cooperate with anyone or any organization in the community and chose to keep the public in the dark. She was overwhelmingly defeated in her bid for re-election and quietly left town in disgrace. Unfortunately, she did years worth of damage to the city during her one term in office.
Tallman should remember that mayor's fate, and voters should fear what a mayor such as that could do to Parkersburg!