35th Ward Alderman Debate

Last night Courtney and I walked the block to the Fourth Congressional Church to hear the four candidates for Alderman speak their minds and try and convince us to vote for them Feb. 27. The church was filled with community members. It was kind of nice to know our new neighborhood has so many interested residents. The debate was surprisingly good for local government with only Esteban Burgoa "taking up time" with his passionate but off base rants.

Disclaimer: We came to the meeting with very little background of the candidates beyond seeing the signs everywhere this year and in 2003.  I'll break down my impressions below.

Miguel Sotomayor:
Sotomayor drew the first spot in the debate so we'll list him first. He
started off shaky but over the course of the two hours each answer
seemed a bit more thought out and his confidence seemed to grow. My
overall impression was he probably understands government procedures
from his background in transportation but I don't know if he'd be worth
the vote.

Vilma Colom: Colom
was the former alderman and had been beaten by Rey Colon in 2003. Just
listening to her and observing her body language you could tell she was
still seething underneath from the loss, even four years later. Outside
of Colon she'd obviously do the best job but I wonder if her heart is
in the right place for the job or she's out for some sort of political

Esteban Burgoa: Oh
man. Esteban was fiery but a bit out of it. I respect his passion and
charisma but I don't think he has any grasp of what it takes to run a
ward. He did make the best jokes of the night.


Rey Colón: The current
alderman sure came off as the most professional politician on the
stage. His answers seemed the most centrist, the most logical etc. I
don't quite understand the argument that development is bad for the
area because it's happening citywide and everywhere development has
happened the areas are usually better off with less crime, more
businesses and simply look better. That's just me. The whole, his
fiancée works for him is a bit sketchy especially if her salary comes
from city funds. If he promised to pay her salary himself I'd have no
problem with it. Even still, compared to the others in the debate there
was no question who made the most sense, who made his case the best and
who I'd be comfortable voting for, that would be Colón.

Again, we are not politicking for anyone, we're just two
residents who attended the debate, relaying our thoughts. If you have
an opposing viewpoint please comment below in a considerate manner.