First, we would need to set a pretty low bar to get into a first-round runoff election, which would be held on primary day in September. I would set the bar as low as a $250 entry fee (cash) and a score of 65 or more on a test on the city code, history and demographics. (Multiple choice, and an essay question on labor relations and contract negotiations.) Anyone who meets those standards can get to the first round and will be required to take part in a debate to be held at UPAC and moderated by leading members of the local media infrastructure. (I un-volunteer myself; as anyone can tell you I am not that good at reining people in.)
Assuming there will be more than two candidates, the top three vote-getters will move on to the final round. There will have to be another debate, perhaps at Kingston High, or maybe three debates, one for each district of the city and focusing on that particular district’s particular issues. Then, Election Day and may the candidate who gets the most votes win.
What’s the point of this exercise? To highlight that the traditional way of doing things, where candidates schmooze, wheel and deal their way to their party’s nomination and maybe, maybe face a primary challenge along the way, blocks people who aren’t wheeler-dealer-schmoozers from a shot. Who are party faithful to decide who’s a serious candidate and who is not? I don’t have the space to weigh the demerits of the two-party system in this space, but I will point out that since whoever scores the Democratic line is pretty probably going to be mayor, Kingston’s next mayor may well be picked in a committee meeting.