Nov 26 2011

PCA Responds to “Viewpoint” in Piedmont Post

The Piedmont Civic Association appreciates the efforts of Conna McCarthy to explain her candidate’s decision to decline to participate in the PCA forum, as well as her good wishes for future PCA forums which she points out “could be a beneficial part of Piedmont’s civic engagement”.   (November 23, 2011 “Viewpoint” in the POST)

To clarify one point, PCA provided full information on the forum format to candidates and on its website, and was happy to answer inquiries from candidates or their campaign chairs.  As Ms. McCarthy, campaign chair of School Board candidate Andrea Swenson, notes, mistaken information was circulated to candidates, which came from unidentified sources.  (See “Four Rumors” article.)

To clarify another point, neither the League of Women Voters, nor the Piedmont Civic Association,  nor any other association or club in Piedmont publicly lists the names of its members or financial contributors.  And, just like almost every other local Piedmont organization, PCA is supported by the time and efforts of volunteers, rather than any significant monetary funding.

As Ms. McCarthy herself notes in a recent email to a PCA editorial board member,endorsements of friends and neighbors carry a special  influence.“*  Reliance on special influence to win elections, rather than qualifications of candidates and positions on issues, seems less than ideal in a democratic society.  PCA does not endorse candidates and regrets the lost opportunity for voters to hear from each candidate early in the election process at an informational forum. Voters now must wait until January, after absentee voting has begun and endorsements made.

Offering informational forums is consistent with an important principle highlighted at a recent forum on Civic Engagement:  include the public in civic discussions early and often.  This good governance concept is strongly supported by PCA, as shown by its recent editorial, “Who Knows What,” its mission statement, and its sponsorship of forums, including PCA’s recent co-sponsorship of a forum on Education Funding with the Piedmont Educational Foundation and the League of Women Voters.

Piedmont needs the informed support of all its residents in order to be a strong and wisely governed city. Through the PCA, busy residents can readily participate in civic activities and discussions.”             PCA Mission Statement


*Email sent to an Editorial Board Member of the Piedmont Civic Association asking for an endorsement:

It was unfortunate there was so much confusion over the organizing of the PCA forum.
I understand PCA is a relatively re-newed group in town and many people are curious to learn more about who they are and who they represent.
There isn’t much identifying information on the website as of yet.
I want to make sure you know I am proud to be the campaign chair for Andrea Swenson for School Board.
As you know, in a small town, endorsements of friends and neighbors carry a special influence.
Please consider Andrea’s long list of accomplishments,
and let me know if I can add your name as an endorser for Andrea.
There are 3 seats and 4 candidates. Your support is will make a difference.

Conna McCarthy (Craigie) 


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