Farmer has answers

Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2000

Will the Empire ever stop treating Mark Farmer as a second-class candidate? He's a Coast Guard veteran, one of America's top military-aviation photojournalists, a cancer survivor and the only mayoral candidate who seems able to answer direct questions, but your selective reporting continues to marginalize him.

Is it because he's not backed by the right political machine? Because he threatens the status quo? Because he hasn't bought an ad from your paper yet?

In the public debates, Farmer has repeatedly stood out as the candidate of substance. You may not always agree with him, but unlike the other candidates, you can always tell what he's talking about. He wants the cruise lines to pay for their impacts. He wants to revamp Capitol Transit and expand the schedule. His bear control plan recognizes that garbage is the problem, not bears.

On the "access" issue, Farmer is the only candidate to openly oppose a road out of Juneau. One candidate has conjured up a plan for a road of her own. Another candidate, perhaps hobbled by training as a career bureaucrat, buries her position in jargon.

To his credit, Jamie Parsons at least will say he wants a road to Skagway, just like he did back when he was mayor. Of course, Juneau also had a garbage bear problem and a looming cruise ship glut back when he was mayor. He didn't address those problems, and he's not going to push through a road that the feds won't fund and the state doesn't want.

At any rate, you've got to admire Farmer's persistence and his determination to keep campaign spending low. As of last Monday, his campaign expenses totaled $172. That kind of budget doesn't buy many newspaper ads, which I guess makes Farmer irrelevant by the Empire's standards.

The Empire is not voting, but if you are, you have three choices for mayor.

If you're happy with the status quo, vote for Parsons or Smith it really doesn't matter which one. If you want entertainment, vote for Zimmerman. If you want a change, vote for Farmer.

John Erben

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