Mayoral Debates Still Not Scheduled: with Five Weeks to Go Before the Mayoral Primary, No Debates Have Been Scheduled

August 7, 2013
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More than two months have passed since all of the candidates in the Mayor’s race have emerged. However, there still has been no announcement of a single debate between the three candidates for mayor, including any announcement from incumbent Mayor Carlo DeMaria.

To be fair to all three candidates, this summer has been a busy summer in the city of Everett.

Shortly after Memorial Day, the Mayor and his challengers were busy passing the fiscal year 2014 budget and capital improvement plans. Following the main city business of June, casino supporters and opponents were focused on the June casino ballot question, which then gave way to the July 4 holiday.

Mayoral hopeful Robert Van Campen has been on the record requesting a series of debates with the mayor.

In an email response to Van Campen, Mayor DeMaria told the Ward 5 Aldermen, “Look forward to debating you on any issue at any time. . .”

The Mayor also chastised Van Campen for his decisions to delay public comment on issues such as the Wynn Development, negotiated host agreement and other topics, noting that Alderman Van Campen had been invited to share his thoughts and opinions with the administration, as all city councilors were, in the weeks leading up to the development of the casino plan and host agreement.

“I firmly believe we have successfully been very transparent and negotiated a great host agreement for residents either to approve or disapprove,” added Mayor DeMaria.

However, in the two months that have passed since then, no one has been able to schedule a debate about the Wynn Development or any other aspect of local government.

When asked late Monday evening about the issue, Van Campen said, “I don’t want to negotiate (a debate schedule) in the newspaper, but it’s August 5 now and we’re tripping over his (Mayor DeMaria’s) consultant in trying to get a debate scheduled.”

Van Campen noted that he has not reached out to his colleague and fellow Mayoral Challenger Millie Cardello, of Ward 1, but said he expects that she would be as eager for a debate with the mayor, as he is.

Phone calls and email requests about a potential debate were made to all three candidates in the mayor’s race on Monday evening, The Independent was not able to get a response to all queries in time for this story.