The Vader candidate forum was held Tuesday, July 21 at the Assembly of God Church where the candidates were given a chance to represent themselves. There are three candidates that have filed to run for Mayor, three running for council position 4, two running for council position 5 and two candidates running for council position 2. Of the ten candidates expected, three made an appearance.
Kenneth D. Smith for Mayor of Vader, Mark Fenison for Council Position 2, and Kevin Flynn for Council Position 4 all took time to meet the public. It was rumored that some of the candidates did not want to participate in the forum because of its location in the Assembly of God church, citing that church and state should remain separate, but no specific reason was given for the non-attendance of the other candidates.
To start the forum, the first speaker was chosen by putting all three names in a basket and drawn at random. The first speaker was Kevin Flynn, who is running for Council Position 4.
"I wanted to do this strictly on a casual basis, I wanted people to get to know who I am and why I'm doing this," said Flynn. The candidate went on to introduce himself, "I moved here to the west coast to be close to some of my grand children," said Flynn. "A gentleman by the name of Kenneth Smith has asked me to run for office, and I said I'd have to think about that." Flynn went on to talk about his motives for running for the council position, citing the city's growth as an influence, and wants to keep the growth of Vader going. "The reason I'm running again is that the city has grown, it has healed many wounds since I have moved here," cited Flynn. Flynn went on to talk about what sort of issues he would want to deal with on the council, "The biggest issue I think we face right now is are we going to or are we not going to allow drugs to be grown in our town," said Flynn. After Flynn made his focus clear, he listed other current and recurring problems in Vader, "We've faced some problems over the last four years that I've served, the three problems we always face are: the water department, the sewer department and what can we do to get this city to grow. The city went from showing in debt, to slightly surplus in these four years. For development, we have to make this a safer city for everyone."
When Flynn was done with his statement, the moderator drew another name from the basket, choosing Mark Fenison as the next speaker running for city council.
Fenison introduced himself, saying that this forum was an opportunity for the public to know who he is.
Fenison went right into the details of why he wants to occupy the council position: "Part of my concern is the state of our nation has characterized in recent poles that I believe advertise very loudly that we are in an ethical, cultural crisis," said Fenison. The city council candidate explained that the problem he has been seeing starts in the "grass roots" and carries through all the way to our leaders at the top level, and listed examples: "Let me give you an example: earlier this month 50 high school teenagers entered a Walmart to see how much they could intentionally destroy. In the past decade mass killings in all levels of our educational system has increased with teen suicide. Recent poles have revealed that the American public do not trust their leadership," said Fenison. He went on to cite the teaching of evolution to be the cause of today's youth acting like animals, as well as the legalization of drugs. Fenison explained that a candidate's moral character is only as good as their moral standard. "My intent is not to offend anyone here, nor is it to say I'm any better than you, I'm not. I'm an imperfect man, but I'm a forgiven man, and I would like your vote."
After Fenison, the last man standing was current Mayor of Vader Kenneth Smith, who commented on the poor turn out, "We may not be vast multitudes but we know where more than two Vaderites are gathered there will be a spirit, and I've felt a good spirit in here tonight." Smith addressed the two candidates running, commemorating them for their excellent service, and then introduced himself. "I'm retired and I've served my employment career as a special agent for the FBI for 25 years, I speak fluent Spanish and Russian, I've traveled the aridly corners of the world, and never anticipated at all at retiring in the woods on the wet side of Washington," said Smith. Smith explained how he is a constitutionalist, and that he wants to make America great again starting with the City of Vader.
"There is no money involved in the position, because there is no pay, and even if there were I wouldn't take it, because I am a constitutionalist, patriot."
With no more candidates to hear from, the forum was ended with Smith's statement.