OPINION: Campaigning for office | positive commentary from the candidates and …

On November 5, Columbia’s registered voters will be voting for open positions on the borough council and the school board of directors. Many of the candidates have facebook pages that serve as their conveyor of messages that are constructive and  focused on real-issues (links to their facebook pages are shown below in this post).

Many of these candidates for office are interfacing with citizens to respond to issues and scenarios that impact citizens. This kind of sincere exchange and open dialogue, we think is healthy discourse.


But there are also other efforts being used via social media sites that are managed by anonymous “masterbaiters”, would-be provocateurs and mudslingers. These sites revel in innuendo, direct malicious assaults and GOBAG (good old boy and girl) garbage speak. We think this is nonsense, but is the hallmark of their ilk.

Insinuations and efforts to discredit serve no purpose. Subjective and underhanded comments ought to be balanced with verifiable research easily done at these sites:


election 2019

The countdown to Election day 2019 is on. Just days from now, registered voters get the opportunity absent in so many places on this earth. They get to pick the folks who will represent them in the political offices at the state, county and local levels.

The local level is the most important level — here’s where voters may actually know the candidates. These candidates are people you’ve met; people you went to school or church with; your neighbors or people you work with. These are the people who will be charged with managing the municipal and educational systems RIGHT HERE IN COLUMBIA.

Make the effort to find out who the candidates are and what’s important to them. One way to do that is to talk with them; ask them questions and listen to them. Find out where they stand on topics, issues and programs that directly concern you.

One way to get to know them is by looking at their facebook pages; here are the candidate facebook pages we know about. If there are others, we’ve missed, please send an email to 17512@mail.com and let us know about them.

councillorColumbians will be voting for “not more than four” candidates for borough councillor.

school boardColumbians will be voting for “not more than five” candidates for school board of directors.

  • Sandra Duncan*
  • Kathleen Hohenadel*
  • Charles Leader*
  • Lauren K. Van Stetten*
  • Rebecca Young*
  • Fred Thomas
  • Kaitlyn Keyser
  • Lester W. Putt

NOTE: The above candidates with asterisks have a consolidated facebook page.

Columbians will be voting for “not more than two” candidates for school board of directors – 2 YR.

While searching for candidates’ facebook accounts we found this one from an antagonist, a current school board director with an opposition view:

Click on the continue reading above to see the entire post; or click here to find the post at current school board of director, Cole Knighton’s facebook page.


  1. Again, as a newcomer to Columbia, somewhat free of scars from the corrosive politics of this town, I would like to say a few things to these “Candidates Of Change” (Actually ANYONE of Political/Social/Economic influence in this town) who will be elected:

    Don’t let the “dogmas,” “agendas” and rhetoric of your national political parties affect your decision making.

    Columbia does not need “Activism” or “Everyone-Who-Owns-A-Business-Is-An-Evil-Capitalist.”

    Business owners, entrepreneurs, developers and artists are moving to Columbia; revitalization is happening and improving the tax base, but

    Can you BALANCE economic growth versus romantic, “small town” notions of Columbia? This town needs both immediate and long term goals/ideas to prosper.

    We do not need “Tribalism.”

    I’ve read a lot of comments about “Cliques,” and “Coffee Clubs” since I’ve lived here.

    But, will the Candidates Of Change—who appear to be generational residents of Columbia, and appear to have long-standing relationships—suspend their friendships/socializing for “The Good Of Columbia?”

    These Candidates also appear to be friends/acquaintances/spouses with the two publications that have considerable influence to Columbia residents: This website—Columbia News, Views & Reviews—and The Columbia Spy.

    Can our Candidates “suspend” their relationships—meaning, they become rational and objective—so these publications do not become “Bully Pulpits?”

    I’m not trying to condemn or incite, but, the political jingo of this election season demands “Transparency.”

    The the tribes/factions and mindsets of this community breed jealousy and paranoia, which only contributes to the long standing acrimony.

    Without a doubt, EVERYONE wants Columbia to prosper and grow, but how can these influential tribes/factions come together in a rational, objective way? Can they end the social media mudslinging? Can everyone take that cliche deep breath and say, “We ALL admit to screwing up. We may not forgive-and-forget, but we need to unite our various ideas and find a suitable balance.”

    A “Compromise.”

    That’s really what that flawed philosophy of “Democracy” is about.

  2. There seem to be corrosive politics, to be sure.

    We really appreciate your thoughtful commentary and we’ll try to fill in some of the question blanks you posed.

    We think we’ve been rather consistent in our advocating a centrist position and while we are friends with many of the candidates, our approach on this Website will be seeking and asking for:

    1. Open information and communication. We have welcomed and encouraged everyone to share their information with Columbia news, views & reviews readers. We welcome news releases, articles and photo submissions. After all, Columbia news, views & views was begun with the hope of it becoming a “citizen journalism” project.

    2. Transparency and candor. Since beginning this online publication nine or so years ago, we have clamored for transparency in government. We’ve been unwavering in reminding elected public servants of the grave responsibility of holding office in a democratic nation. Shrouded, backroom dealings are just onerous and have no place in communities that care and want to progress.

    3. We will continue to be a “bully pulpit” for truth, justice and the American way. We will continue to demand transparency in government and in not-for-profit entities.

    4. Equity and equality. We believe everyone must be valued; people who rent and people who live in homes they own. People who live “uptown” or downtown are equal no one is better than anyone else.

    We’ve long held that the “tribalism” you reference has been Columbia’s cross-to-bear. We’ve watched a slew of initiatives come and go – initiatives that served the fancies of some while ignoring the community at large. And we, as you, think that Columbia has enormous potential to be a wonderful place to be … for everyone.

    We think your last line is especially on target: “We ALL admit to screwing up. We may not forgive-and-forget, but we need to unite our various ideas and find a suitable balance.”

    Let it happen.

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