Impressions from “Live at the Oval”

Guest post from the wicked-awesome Barkos:

Sitting in the grass earlier today … I was eating an orange and pondering how the hell to write about this event I was witnessing before me. True political coverage? As in “This is Barkos, reporting live from The Oval! We’ll have the blow by blow right after!” Ah…no. Alas my attention span at times is not long enough to be that accurate. Note to self to bring a video camera next time. Great. More things with batteries to worry about. In any case, I will have to just have to plunge into the impressions (notice how I deftly stalled for time while I thought of how to start…clever ain’t I?) It was a beautiful day out under the North Visalia skies as the mics powered up. The volunteers with KFSC 94.1 did a fantastic job of organizing this event, I have to say. There was an art table for folks and kid folk to play on. There were refreshments (at astonishingly low prices … only 50 cents for a huge bag of popcorn.) and two pinatas for tiny children to bludgeon. And who wouldn’t appreciate the presence of this fellow…

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The chicken looked on stoically as the candidates began to answer in rotating order questions from a list someone, somewhere printed off.

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Roland Soltesz: Seems like a very reasonable person. The most striking thing he said was that we should actually limit the size that our city grows. What!? How dare we take away money from those rich developers from out of town! They may have to settle for Chinese leather shoes instead of Italian ones. So right on I say to Mr. Soltesz and his near untypeable name. A former public defender who, according to him, quit his private practice and took a 50% pay cut to become one. Damn. If that’s true then that is dedication. He is for more transparent government and had a snazzy blue shirt on.

Amy Shuklian: A very “real” sounding person in some ways, but in other ways her answers seemed a little rehearsed. She said some good things. She has lived in Visalia her entire life, so that is a plus…you know she must care at least a little. She wants more community involvement (You askin’ me to get offa’ the couch?! Damn you!) and apparently used to shop at the liquor store near the Oval. At least I think it was the liquor store she was pointing to…(Libel suit pending…)

Mike Lane: The first words out of this person’s mouth were in Spanish. I found this odd because it seems he did so in order to convince people that he really does know Spanish. Because he sure as hell didn’t do it to translate his answers to the masses. I mean he only did it like 2 times. He was dressed in some sort of a soccer design team shirt. A strange choice of wardrobe for attending a forum. Still, he seemed reasonable enough…nothing else he said though really stuck out for me. I think I stopped listening after that whole Spanish intro thing…

Mary Wheeler: Ok, I am going to get some disagreement possibly from the head snark around here on this one considering the amount of “Mary Wheeler Love” that I have seen around here but I thought she seemed really clueless as to the answers to any of the questions asked. In response to what to do about the traffic problem….”there’s too much traffic! I…I don’t know what to do about traffic.” In response to one question….” I agree with everything Mike just said. Thank You.” Another question….”I’m gonna have to think about that one.” I may be being a little harsh here (and NO I don’t like to pick on people in wheelchairs…crutches yes, wheelchairs no…) but she seemed not to have answers for anything (at least answers that weren’t horribly vague.) But… she does seem like a truly nice person who just wants to help out. City Council Member? I don’t think so.

Tim Fosberg: The best thing I liked about him was that he said he wanted to run for city council to make government more accountable (line em up!) Mentioned many times about the Visalia Oaks stadium being a handout to private enterprise. He could be right…The second best thing about him was his snappy suit jacket. Easily the best dressed candidate there.

Well in the end I came away with the best feelings about Fosberg and Soltesz. They spoke well and seemed to be consistently saying things that make sense. I had a soda and some popcorn. I learned about new programs and the inner working of city government. And best of all…I witnessed the demise of a paper chicken. Who could ask for a better Sunday?

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  1. barkos Said:

    An amendment to this post…just wanted to mention that I saw the mysterious Fosberg standing on the corner of Mooney and Walnut…by himself! Seriously, I mean no one around. He could have been abducted or something. Doesn’t he have bodyguards? Hmm…well I guess that is kinda good he doesn’t…second thought I like that. Go Fosberg!

  2. DAVe Said:

    You were there and You probably said Hi to me and I didn’t really know who you really were

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