As regular PortsmouthCityWatch.org followers are aware, PCW has been diligently following city council and school board candidates from one public forum to another with a video camera. Thanks to YouTube, we have been providing information from such gatherings to the public in C-SPAN style — i. e., just as it happened. At the most recent forum, though, I received an unexpected request. Shortly, before the meeting began, the moderator asked me, on behalf of an unnamed individual or individuals, not to record it. I inquired as to who the person submitting the request might be, but the moderator declined to provide a name. As the forum was a public proceeding, I rejected his request. Continue reading
In the best of all possible worlds, this year’s city council election would have been a functional replay of 2004. A decade ago, popular Council Member Bernard Griffin chose not to seek reelection, leaving fellow incumbents Thomas Benn and Cameron Pitts with no African-American teammate to help them win that important constituency. Portsmouth began the new fiscal year with three fresh faces on council. This year, the retirement of Council Member Marlene Randall, the league leader in 2006 and the second-place finisher for council in 2010, could have been the catalyst for a wholesale housecleaning. The current field of challengers, however, is nowhere nearly strong or wide as it was ten years ago. Our best hope for improvement on city council, then, is replacing one of the two remaining incumbents seeking reelection.