In addition to polling (see “The Undecided Factor”), the Independent has begun endorsement interviews of candidates for City Council and mayor.
We began our interviews with the four leading mayoral candidates — John Suthers, Mary Lou Makepeace, Amy Lathen and Joel Miller — by asking each to rate Steve Bach's term as mayor on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, and to explain their ranking.
"I'd probably give him a 6 or 7," Makepeace said. She didn't necessarily agree with some things Bach had done or said, she added, but she didn't think anyone would have done a better job negotiating the transition to the strong-mayor form of government.
"A 5," said Amy Lathen. "There are pieces that were very, very good and there are pieces that were very, very poor."
"A 5," Suthers said. "Steve has done some good things," he added, citing "a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction," but, he said, "The obvious problem is that Steve's personality, his kind of my-way-or-the-highway approach to management, has not created a political environment at City Hall that's conducive to moving forward."
"I couldn't put him above a 5," said Miller, who served on Council while Bach was mayor. He added that Bach's style and personality led to "more of a monarchy" than a productive collaboration with Council.Over the next several weeks, we'll post more questions for the mayoral candidates, along with their answers.