Council hopefuls who may have thought re-warmed rhetoric and single-issue podium thumping were viable campaign tactics got a rude awakening this week as the political season got under way with the first forum for those seeking office.
The showing was less than stellar, with many candidates unable to answer basic questions about city government, the Cape's current or proposed budget or even the tax rate.
That's OK - provided those who seek to represent us accept that the forum hosted by the Cape Coral Republican Club and the Cape Coral Association of Realtors for the wake-up call it was.
The issues facing our city in these dire economic times are complex and the challenges ahead cannot be solved by political platitudes.
What is needed is leadership, informed leadership from the oath of office onward because our city cannot suffer through a learning curve. With record unemployment, one of the highest foreclosure rates nationwide and the continued property values plummet, Cape residents have simply suffered enough.
We urge the candidates for council to immerse themselves in the issues and to focus their campaigns on viable solutions rather than a rehashing of all that is wrong.
That's not too much for the voters to ask - nor is it too much for Cape voters to demand.
We thank the candidates again for their decisions to run. It's a huge commitment in both time and money. It's also a commitment that comes with an incredible amount of stress at a time when many of us are struggling to just focus on home and family.
But please, come to the table with opinions steeped in facts and figures, with platforms built on more than pretty prose.
What is needed now is substance. So show us what you've got.
- Breeze editorial