In this week’s edition, you’ll find the Gabber’s Citizen Election Board’s recommendations for who they believe will best serve Gulfport on council in wards two and four.
The board operated wholly independently from Gabber contributors or staff, including myself. We have not in any way interfered with or influenced their decision. However, we are very pleased with how seriously each of the five board members took their responsibility to you.
Here’s how we selected them, and how they arrived at their decisions: We started putting calls out for board members a few months ago. We selected one applicant from each of Gulfport’s four wards on a first-apply, first-serve basis. We had an abundance of applicants for wards two and four, however for wards one and three – where we received zero applications – we reached out to residents in those wards directly to participate. We received quite a few “no, thank yous” before we found representatives for those wards. We selected our city-wide representative based on two things: We wanted them person to live in one of the two wards up for election, and we wanted them to have applied second in one of those wards.
Each board member – none of whom could work for the city or for the Gabber – refrained from endorsing in-person or on social media until they released their recommendations to us. They also agreed not to contribute to any campaigns until after they made their recommendation.
To arrive at their recommendation, the group interviewed each candidate individually. The board also had a front-row seat at the debate on February 11.
After meeting with the candidates, the board discussed who they believed would best serve our community. They then gave us their recommendation, which we present to you, unaltered aside from edits to grammar and style. While editor Shelly Wilson and I facilitated the group in the logistics of this process, we were not present for candidate interviews, nor do we have knowledge of their questions or their discussions.
Their decision remains theirs alone. It does not necessarily represent our personal views or opinions, or those of our advertisers, and should not be construed as the Gabber Newspaper’s endorsement of any candidate.
While we believe in the power of the people, recommendations mean nothing if you don’t vote. If you agree with our board, vote as they suggest. If you disagree, vote with your heart.
But whatever you do, please vote.
Last week’s cover story [“Skunks, Chihuahuas and Kitties, Oh My!” February 25, 2021] featured a painting provided by the Florida Skunk Rescue. While we correctly credited the organization, we did not note the artist, Robert Phelps. Phelps supports the Florida Skunk Rescue mission and donated several of his paintings for use by the organization. The Gabber apologizes for the oversight.