Consider this when casting your vote for mayor: It is time for a hard look at the past and a fresh start for the future. Whatever good our current (retiring) mayor did was paid for by ignoring our financial obligations and putting us hundreds of thousands of dollars in default. This was gross mismanagement of our money. Citizens are paying for it now in higher utility bills and reduced services.

When asked in a candidate forum who is responsible for this financial debacle, mayoral candidates Kevin Begos and Amy Hersey both told the truth: The mayor and sitting commissioners must bear responsibility. Candidate Valentina Webb would not admit that. She said that we all bear responsibility, which is the same as saying no one is responsible. This is willful blindness.

Webb previously served on the very city commission that helped get us into this financial mess. Webb represents the past and the status quo. Going forward, her decisions would likely be clouded by the natural human tendency to defend her past actions, and those of her friend, the retiring mayor. I recognize the great contributions she has made to our community, but it would be a mistake to elect an apologist for the retiring mayor.

We must take this hard look at the past so we can put systems in place that will prevent similar disasters in the future. Then we can make a fresh start. Kevin Begos represents that hard look and fresh start, as does former mayoral candidate Amy Hersey, who now wholeheartedly supports Kevin Begos.

Kevin will do an excellent job. Please vote for Kevin Begos for mayor.

Charles Sawyer