From Trail to Board
For Ken Foran, juggling a campaign for City Council with his duties on the School Board is a demanding task. Last Thursday, for example, he hit a candidates forum before facing several angry board members who were unhappy with his campaign rhetoric.
"One of the quotes I recently read that was attributed to you said that the administrative salaries are too high. Yet, a couple of years ago when we adjusted all those salaries, you voted in support of it," said board member Mark Wilkoff. "I'm curious how you can tell us one thing and say a different thing out in public, and I'd like to hear an explanation."
Foran leaned into the microphone to respond.
"Mr. Wilkoff, It's clear that this budget is not going to pass council," Foran responded. "It's clear that this council is going to reduce this budget."
"That's not the issue, Mr. Foran," Wilkoff shot back. "You've been going out and saying to don't support our budget, that you think salaries are too high at the administrative level and that you think positions ought to be cut. Yet never once in three years have you proposed a deletion."
Then board member Sally Ann Baynard jumped in the act.
“These sorts of things are part and parcel of a pattern of activities that has made it, frankly, very difficult for this board to operate for some time,” Baynard said. “This is not about being elected to office. It’s about children and what’s best for them.”
Foran was eager to respond, but Chairwoman Mollie Danforth wouldn’t hear of it.
“I think we'll move on now, Mr. Foran,” she said.
“May I respond?” Foran asked.
“No,” said Danforth before moving on to a different topic.
After the meeting, Foran said Danforth was out of line.
“This is why my voice is needed on City Council,” Foran said. “I will continue to speak on behalf of Alexandrians, and I will not be silenced by a chairman with a heavy-handed gavel.”
When candidates appeared before the Arts Forum last week, each was eager to display a sense of artistry. Rob Krupicka talked about his painting. Ken Foran talked about his days in the theater. Andrew Macdonald talked about his photography. Townsend Van Fleet talked about his bongos. Paul Smedberg talked about playing the trombone. But Pat Troy was eager to leave the other candidates in his dust.
“I am the most experienced artist here,” Troy told members of the Arts Forum. “I can sing, I can dance — and I even have my own radio show.”
To show its support of Mayor Bill Euille, who is running an uncontested campaign for reelection, the Arts Forum suggested creating a marble bust of the elected leader. At the time, the mayor was in the final stages of putting together the city’s budget. And he thought that the idea seemed a little luxurious.
“That sounds expensive,” he said. “I’ll go with aluminum foil. Or maybe papier mache.”
Last Chance Forum
Can’t get enough of candidate forums? Still have unanswered questions? You still have one more chance because the Old Town Civic Association will host a last-minute candidate forum 7 p.m. Friday at Lyles-Crouch Elementary School.
"We’ve never had it this late before," said Carolyn Merck,, chairwoman of the association's candidates forum committee. "I don't have any idea if people have already made up their minds or what."
The Money Trail
On Tuesday, candidates released fundraising information indicating the total amount of money they have raised this election cycle:
Del Pepper: $81,251
Timothy Lovain: $79,259
Paul Smedberg: $66,864
Rob Krupicka: $64,509
Ludwig Gaines: $49,369
Townsend Van Fleet: $29,935
Craig Miller: $22,478
Andrew Macdonald: $21, 759
Bernie Schulz: $14,925
Pat Troy: $14,427
Ken Foran: $2,854