Editorial: Time to focus on present and future Alpena

Move on.

We were quite troubled this week after reading one of the questions posed to Mike Polluch at Monday’s League of Women Voters candidate forum.

Specifically, he was asked if he had affiliations with former Councilmen Dave Karschnick and Mike Nunneley, and whether he supported their recall.

First, we have to ask why the question was asked. If Alpena ever hopes to move beyond this point in time, and history, there has to be a healing process. The time for that process is now.

A city manager was relieved of his duties, a recall happened, it was successful, and new faces will show up in several key city positions. OK, the community understands that, so let it happen and let’s move on from that point and not dwell in the past. The recall is old news.

Second, the question obviously was leading and unfair. Of course Polluch had affiliations with Nunneley and Karschnick as he served on council previously with both. We see that as a misleading paint stroke meant to color the audience.

But the final, and third point, is what disturbed us the most – a current candidate’s opinion of the recall. Why?

Judge the five candidates on their own merit, their own platforms and their own opinions. Find out if they have a vision for the community, and what that vision is. Ask them how they propose dealing with things like a city budget, declining tax base and employee negotiations. Ask them how they might handle conflict, what barometers they would use in guiding them through tough decisions and their stand on transparency in government. Find out what potential conflicts of interest they might have sitting on council.

But don’t ask them their stand on the recall.

It’s old news. It’s no longer relevant.

The longer we linger in that mindset, the longer it will take to move forward.

It’s time to begin a new chapter.