The crowd on hand for the Mayoral debate at the Courthouse Friday evening included friends and families of the candidates as well as the former mayor and others. The proceedings, delayed without explanation, were gaveled to order by Mr. Gil T. Justice who explained the proceedings and introduce the two candidates, Angelyna Russo and Dimitri Rousseau. It had all the markings of a Civil War, north versus south. Mr. Rousseau, representing the Northern section of Santa Ramona, was dapperly dressed and Ms. Russo, as the champion of the South End, in more casual attire. As the audience moved to the edge of their seats, the combatants were at the podiums and the fight was on. A coin toss determined the order of presentation and the North fired the first volley with a laundry list of projects including increase tourism, investments ( North and South), and helping local businesses. The idea of a battle royal ended however when the candidate declared “ I am also collaborating with Ms Russo next to me in tackling unemployment and helping out with the homeless situation." Any glimmer of a battle ensuing then vanished as Ms Russo, rather than throwing down the gauntlet of a challenge, followed by reinforcing that she and Mr. Rousseau had become a team, not only on the problems of the homeless, but that she had been “Working with Dimitri on a slew of ideas to invigorate business, tourism and take a step further what Ro Russo, the former Mayor, did to fight the drug problems that plague our city.” To the disappointment of some, including this reporter, there was to be no blood, no shouting, no outrageous theatrics, not even one rebuttal, this was a love fest. They shook hands, but didn’t come out fighting. An ambitious grab bag plan to stimulate tourism was laid out in detail by Mr. Rousseau. An invigorated Ms. Russo was fired up in her desire to improve the southern end of our city. A question of environmental impact was discussed in such detail that the Greenpeace movement would have been proud to have called their own. Control of illegal weapons was mostly pushed of to the police. In the end, if he had been given the chance, Mr. Justice would have called the debate a draw as each candidate patted the other on the back. It would seem the town will be getting dual mayors; the voters just get to say which one holds the gavel.
(Voting takes begins next Monday and ends at 10am on Wednesday. The result will be announced after midday on Wednesday.)
This article has been edited for small stylistic changes.