Over at Move Lowell Forward there is a link to an explanation of the process for selecting the slate of nine recommended candidates for City Council.
I was very happy that it was a "process." That is to say, we laid down some ground rules that sought to be objective. We followed those ground rules. When we saw the results we asked ourselves if we liked those results and then said amongst ourselves that that was the result of the rules we laid down, so we should happily accept.
There has been some talk in the comments over at Left in Lowell about the fact that without us publishing the returned questionnaires (Go here to see the questionnaire for City Council Candidates) we are less than transparent and others may not understand why we went the way we did. Frankly, I think withholding is the proper decision. To fully understand the process you would have to go into each rater's brain and observe it when the person was making his or her choices. I am not sure that can be done. Rather, it is just the basis for arguments. Discussion yes, arguments no.
The summary of the process is here.
I would like to note that for those who did not return questionnaires, it was done politely and without rancor. I personally talked to Mayor Caufield and Councillors Armand Mercier and Alan Kazanjian and each of them was polite in talking to me.
If you are an A-10 Warthog pilot, you motto is "Go Ugly Early" (and rightfully so). However, for Lowell politics we should avoid that approach and show respect to others and assume that any slights are more likely mistakes than deliberate actions.
Regards — Cliff
PS: Did you notice that Left in Lowell got 73 comments. Maybe blogs are more read than I thought.