This week the Call starts to roll out its candidate questionnaires for the primary election Tuesday, August 7.
As longtime readers know well, the Call’s candidate questionnaires are the most comprehensive of any newspaper around. We try to ask a variety of questions that give you a real sense of a candidate’s positions.
And although we can’t print every answer in our print edition, we publish every answer verbatim online at www.callnewspapers.com.
Sometimes candidates say that the questionnaire is too difficult, or the questions are too hard. And sometimes they thank us because filling out the questionnaire really helped them become more informed of the various issues surrounding their race.
Knocking on doors gives candidates immediate feedback on what residents care about at this moment, but to know what might be an issue next year it helps to look at what happened in the past and get a sense of the history of the office and what to avoid.
As one example, since 2001 the Call’s questionnaire for County Council races has always included the question, “Do you support the council’s 2001 decision to move meetings from afternoons to evenings?”
To the layman that may seem like an oudated question. We’ve had more than one candidate ask why we ask it. We’ve had candidates actually tell us they don’t care about the past and decline to respond to any questions that would require a little research on their part.
We ask that question because at one time, the majority of the County Council fought to keep meetings during the day rather than at night when residents could more easily attend them. It’s a decision that particularly impacted the unincorporated areas in south county whose only local government is county government.
Although anyone new to county government wouldn’t know that, they would know it if they’ve read the Call or looked through the Call’s archives at www.callnewspapers.com.
Indeed, every question on the Call’s candidate survey is asked for a reason. If you’re curious, the issue once arose in the council district, the county or, for our candidates for Missouri House, on the state level.
We encourage everyone to vote Aug. 7. But voters in south county also have the unique opportunity to inform themselves of all the issues in every race by reading this newspaper’s questionnaires.
We encourage you to exercise that form of democracy too.