Who is going to make the case?

I watched the replay of Tuesday’s candidate forum for the Chaska City Council.  What was striking to me was that the challengers (Scott Millard and Charles Stech) failed to articulate a clear rationale for why they should replace the incumbents (Gino Businaro and Chris Schulz). 

In part, this could be attributed to the bland and overly general questioning, but the challengers themselves ultimately are responsible.  After all, they bear the burden of proof here.  If you can’t provide a compelling argument for why you should replace the incumbent, people aren’t going to vote for you instead of the incumbent.

Stech seemed to be inching up on making such an argument, and his closing statement was a far more assertive and confident presentation than what he showed during much of the Q&A period.  He made a coherent argument early about an excess of planning, but failed to take it to the next critical step and calling for a far more explicit focus on implementation.  Based on his website, I also anticipated to hear a lot more from Stech on the property tax issue.

Millard failed to provide any substantial critique of the Council (even lauding the city’s activities thus far on downtown revitalization!) or any real reason why he would be an improvement over Businaro.

For their part, Businaro and Schulz were generally solid.  Schulz, in particular, was in command and had well-reasoned arguments. 

Let’s hope we see some vigorous debate over the next month leading to election day.  There are a lot of areas yet to be fully discussed.

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