The title of this letter paraphrases Benjamin Franklin’s often quoted comment about the frailty of representative democracy.
The words are equally appropriate as we close in on the April 6 runoff vote for Ward 3 city council representation. Kelly Lynn wants to replace Alison Petrone, the current Ward 3 council representative.
Many of us have seen Alison’s work on council and we know her thoughts and positions on all of the issues. She has cast many votes on the council. Some we like. Some we don’t. Mr. Lynn would like to replace Alison, yet we know very little about Mr. Lynn’s positions on most city policy issues.
I believe everyone should make their voting choice based on the best available information. Unfortunately Mr. Lynn has been unwilling to meet Alison Petrone in any runoff debates. His position has been that the candidate forums are a waste of his time. He suggests we view previous candidate forums to learn his positions.
I did as he suggested, and you can too. Mr. Lynn’s comments in two of the three candidate forums are posted to YouTube. He did not participate in the Norman Transcript candidate forum because he refused to wear a mask. I watched all of the candidate forums and I still have concerns and questions.
I am concerned that he does not appear to be interested in representing the interests of all the residents of Ward 3. Mr. Lynn tells us that he is a conservative, and that is one of the most important issues to consider when we vote. Maybe that is enough for some. Not me.
I also have questions about his interest in the job. He appears to be uninformed and uninterested in the many mundane, but important city matters like water quality, floodplain protection, road and street maintenance and city infrastructure. We know a lot about Mr. Lynn’s concerns for public safety, but little else.
Finally, an observation about Mr. Lynn’s campaign approach.
Mr. Lynn’s mailers and tone with residents on the Ward 3 Facebook page have been consistently negative, while Alison’s are always positive and hopeful. His campaign messaging continues to be grounded in fear and division.
According to Mr. Lynn’s latest postcard mailing, Norman is experiencing, “An explosion of crime.” The data from Norman Police Department does not support this claim. Mr. Lynn also would have us believe that the city council is dividing Norman. But it seems the source of this division started with the political group that attempted to overturn our lawful city elections last summer. This group now endorses Mr. Lynn. Take a look at “Unite Norman’s Media Outreach” group on Facebook to see for yourself.
Some of you have already made up your minds. To the rest of you, I say it’s still your ward, your community, and your decision. Please review the available information, ignore the rest and then make the best voting decision possible. Vote on April 6. Thank you all.
Paul T. Arcaroli