Election season is arriving in Del Mar and as in the past three elections there will be no campaign because there are only two candidates running for two open seats on the City Council. The City Council voted to cancel the election to save money. Incumbent Terry Sinnott and community leader Dwight Worden will be installed in the two seats in December.
For some people the concept of no campaigns is a welcome relief from “ugly politics.” Unfortunately, the lack of campaigning is a detriment to a representative form of government.
A campaign provides a means for candidates to connect with the people they represent. In this case all the citizens of Del Mar. Just as important, it allows the citizenry to connect to the candidate so that government is not a distant concept or a bureaucracy that is not responsive to its customers.
In Del Mar, many times a campaign has meant knocking on doors and meeting people that do not ordinarily show up at community forums or address the council. These meetings allow candidates to understand the differences not only of the citizenry but also the uniqueness of the individual neighbors within our fair city. It makes the elected officials more approachable once they are in office and provides a grounding for making decisions that will affect the city as a whole.
In the past some elections have become mean or nasty, though they pale in comparison to elections in larger jurisdictions. The nastiness also is a test to ensure that the people that are running have thick enough skins to make difficult decisions.
We urge Terry and Dwight to use this campaign period just as though they were involved in a competitive race. By walking door to door, holding neighborhood meetings, communicating in writing their intentions, and perhaps even holding a couple of debates they will show respect for the citizens they will represent. Hopefully, more citizens will be energized to tune in to what is going on in their government. And by tuning in to their constituency, Terry and Dwight will likely make better decisions when plans and issues affecting the community appear on Council agendas.
It is now time for people to consider running in 2016 as there will be three seats up for contention. The Sandpiper suggests that people now consider being on some of the city sponsored committees to gain the experience to run in 2016. Let’s have at least four candidates for the three seats and have a campaign in Del Mar.