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StrongCopper

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  1. It was something about the political scene that Strong Copper had never really understood; Why they couldn't just answer 'I don't know, but I intend to find out' if they legit didn't know the answer to the question? One would think that a small show of humility and honesty would be respected. At any rate, the next question came and he cleared his throat a little before answering. "If you do not mind me asking, what exactly has caused the economic crisis in the first place? Which businesses and industries in particular have been hit and are currently in more trouble then the others?" He paused for a moment before letting his gaze wonder over the crowd before continuing "As much as I would love to give a clear cut answer to the question, the truth is that my response would be dependent on the situation itself. The goal would be to try and stabilize the situation in Ponyville before it had a chance to spiral out of control and in the name of that sometimes budgets have to be tightened or new sources of revenue have to be found. All I can promise is that if the situation arises, I will seek out the council of those more educated in how to bring the economy back into balance and try and develop the best plan possible for the circumstances."
  2. Strong Copper had frozen for a moment at the question, his mind racing to come up with an answer. "I'm sorry for the delay Mayor Mare. I confess that I haven't had a chance to enjoy Ponyville's downtown for myself to be honestly able to say if it is healthy and successful, nor how I would try and improve it."
  3. Despite the outburst from the crowd, Strong Copper didn't seem that phased. If anything, he politely raised a hoof towards Mayor Mare as he said "If I may answer Mr Rich..." before clearing his throat and looking at the older stallion. "I was not suggesting that you would be funneling funds for illicit purposes. Merely that if Candidate Rich started a project that you would likely be the first to donate bits to it. I believe there is a precedent for such a claim in the form of the playground for the local school... and I believe the stain glass window also at said school?" Innocently, he glanced towards Spoiled as he asked "...That stain glass window was a private donation right?" Strong Copper had done his homework. Honestly, while he hadn't been able to spend time with the stallion because... well, the whole election thing, Copper couldn't help but feel like Mr Rich was a stallion he could respect. That said, if they had ended up having a duel he would have likely accepted it and have little issue kicking flank.
  4. "Of course, I have no issues with being transparent with how my administration would spend their budget. Through personally I am curious about how many spontaneous donations from Barnard Bargains your government would receive Miss Rich." Strong Copper answered, short and simple... and chuckling softly at his playful little jab. After all, even a minor bit of background digging proved where the money in the Rich family came from.
  5. In a move that would normally have been strange for a debate, Strong Copper politely nodded his head in agreement with Spoiled Rich as he added "It might be worth requesting a loan of an experienced constable or two from a city or town that has a more developed police force for a time for the purposes of helping organize this volunteer group, as well as to ensure that training practices for both the physical and mental requirements of maintaining law and order are met from the start. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right after all."
  6. Turning his head towards the current Mayor who's job he was... well, effectively trying to take, Strong Copper took a moment to clear his throat before he answered her. "I do. Granted it isn't going to happen right away... One cannot just hand a bunch of large sticks to ponies, griffins, dragons, ect and give them orders to 'enforce the law' after all. However, while Ponyville has been blessed by the presence of Equestria's proud Element Bearers, it seems unreasonable to have them deal with every little thing that pops up. Not without working out some kind of payment plan at any rate..."
  7. Strong Copper had been expecting her to talk longer but... well, sometimes the best answers were short and sweet. "While I do respect the fact that there is a bulletin board in which committee meetings are posted, I see no harm in creating a small newsletter to go out and let residents know when meetings are scheduled in advance so that they can mark calendars and all that. I'm thinking a monthly newsletter so that everyone has access to when the meetings are going to take place and a brief summery of what issues local government is currently focusing on... possibly with a section where we can publish letters sent in by citizens who wish to raise awareness about certain topics and we can get a feedback from the community about it." There was a flicked of his tail as a momentary thought came to him. "There will also be some lesser notifications sent out if there is a change in schedule for whatever reason. Meeting times or topics having to be changed. We cannot force anyone to take an active role in local government, but the we can at least ensure that the public has access to the information required if they decide to."
  8. Strong Copper took a deep breath, counting a few seconds after Spoiled had finished talking but before Mayor Mare could move on to the next question. This was a debate after all. "Forgive me Miss Rich, but there is an old saying. The symbol for 'Crisis' is made up of two parts; 'Danger' and 'Opportunity'. While it is completely true that the founders of Ponyville laid down the roots they did because they saw a fertile land that offered boundless opportunities, they were well aware of the fact that they were settling in the shadow of the Everfree forest. While I fully agree with you that Ponyville's growth does offer opportunities as bountiful as the farmland that this town was built on, it still comes with its challenges and dangers. Sure it might be a small problem that few going about their day to day lives would care about, but small problems left ignored or handled poorly tend to grow into big problems."
  9. As the opening question was asked of him, Strong Copper allowed a smile to appear on his face as he made sure to talk nice and clearly so that he could be heard both by the projector and the audience. "A subjective question Mayor Mare, for I suspect that you could ask three ponies who live here that same thing and end up with six different answers." He paused for a second to let the quip sink in before continuing "But for my two bits, I believe that the biggest challenges that Ponyville is facing at the moment and the immediate future are going to be related to its growing population. Not only do we have to ensure that Ponyville can handle all of its new residents, with the presence of the School of Friendship more then just ponies are going to be moving here. I feel like ensuring that all current and future residents of Ponyville, regardless of the diverse nature of their origins, are comfortable and feel at home here will be something the town is a challenge that the town is ready to face."
  10. Ponyville Town Hall, April 6th. While the fact that the questions were coming from a filly reporter of all things, Strong Copper was thankful for the solid ground that she was providing. It was kind of what he had been expecting and it was allowing him to get back into the rhythm of things after he had been thrown off by the mare before. "Miss Bloom, Ponyville is going to grow regardless of who is elected mayor. Between the determination and hard work of its local business ponies and the wise guidance and support of Mayor Mare, the town is currently doing so well that the only way to stop the current boom would be if the person elected to office was actively trying to destroy Ponyville... and even then, considering all this place has endured in recent history there is a strong case to be made that Ponyville would continue on regardless." "All I can promise as Mayor is that I am willing to learn from the successes and failings of my predecessor, attempt to have a positive relationship with local businesses and the School of Friendship, maintain and expand Ponyville's infrastructure while listening to the requests and complaints of locals so that they can be taken into account for decision making." There was a pause... before an idea suddenly came to him. One that would put his main competitor in an... awkward situation regardless of what she did. "There is one thing beyond that I can add and I'll hope that those who are also running for office will join me in the days to come to make it something that all of us will pledge to do regardless of who is elected Mayor." "In my travels related to work, I have been to many different places all over Equestria and beyond. In many of these places, one of their largest issues that plagued them was reckless, corrupt spending by their local governments. Projects that were clearly over-budget and their estimated deadlines long passed without anyone accountable for them. Officials who only spent the the town's funding to enrich themselves, either by investing it in things that would only benefit the few that they were apart of at the expense of the town or by slipping funds into their own pockets quietly. What I intend to do and what I hope to convince the other candidates for your votes in the weeks to come is to establish a pledge of transparency." "Ponyville's funding comes from the tax payer, thus it is only fair that they should be able to see the budget books of the town on request. You should be allowed to walk into Town Hall and ask to see where and how your local government is spending your tax money and under Mayor Copper you will get exactly that. I intend to speak with the other candidates in order to ensure that this will be standard practice regardless of how wins the election, because the only way to stop corruption and personal self interest from getting its dark roots into Ponyville's government is to expose it before it can weed its way in."
  11. Ponyville Town Hall, April 6th. To say that Strong Copper had been thrown off by the... well, causal absent minded rant about friendship that had been brought up. When it finally ended with a question about if he had friends or not, Copper actually looked thoughtful before he answered. "Not that many locally. I hope to change that with time but while I would love to have a chance to get to know you better miss, I'm not sure if you noticed but I am kind of in the middle of something and it would be absolutely rude to ignore everyone else who came here by focusing all my attention on you right now." He offered her a small smile that was... honestly a little to nervous to have been practiced. His salvation from being asked any more Derpy questions came in the form on a filly wearing a reporters hat. The whole situation was adorable, but it also got him out of an awkward conversation and back somewhat on more familiar tracks. Regaining at least some of that former confidence, he answered "That is a fair question Miss Bloom and if the Free Foal Press would care to do an interview I would be more then happy to do so a bit later on. As for your question... fundamentally, it will come down to oversight. Legally speaking, a business owner can set their prices to whatever they want with the knowledge that customers are free to take their business elsewhere. Part of our job as local government is to ensure that such business do not employ tactics to... well, 'rig the game' as it were. We will also be attempting to free up enough of the budget in order to provide subsides for local businesses in order to help encourage them to keep their prices low and affordable."
  12. Ponyville Town Hall, April 6th. To say that Strong Copper was stunned speechless by the question would have been an understatement. Truth was he hated public speaking, but his own personal goal was that if he run a good campaign and failed then at least Ponyville would have an idea of who he was in a positive light. This... this sort of thing was like a nightmare. Taking a seat on stage so that he could reach up to just rub his temples while also hiding his face briefly, he let his forces drop away before answering in a somewhat meek tone "...Strong Copper. My name is Strong Copper. I didn't think I needed to plaster my name and face all over the place but... would you prefer it if I did if it'll help you remember?"
  13. Ponyville Town Hall, April 6th. "I confess..." Strong Copper began, looking a little more relaxed then he did the first time he had taken the stage to make a speech in relation to being Ponyville's mayor "...That much like the rest of you, I've heard plenty of rumors and hearsay about me. I wish to take this moment to address these rumors and ensure that Ponyville has the information to see between the truths and the falsehoods that rumor mills so often distort." A quick breath in order to strengthen his resolve before he got started. "The first that needs to be addressed is this idea that I am not a pony inclined towards laying down roots; That as soon as an opportunity shows itself that I will pack up and leave without a moment's notice. I would make a promise to Ponyville that if elected I would put my career outside of being Mayor on hold so that it would not interfere with my service. If I was not willing to do so, I would not have elected to run for office in the first place. If you're going to offer to do a job, you need to be fully committed to doing it right." With that promise given and the matter hopefully settled, he quickly moved on to the next "The second rumor I feel needs to be addressed is this rumor that I am nothing more then a one trick pony. Some believe that the fact that the only matter I have publicity spoken about at this time is to make Ponyville a more secure and safe place in relation to the wild and at times dangerous areas around the town means that it is the only matter I care about. The truth is I did not wish to speak out of ignorance. Not only of what issues were actually facing Ponyville that needed to be addressed, but of the resources that the Mayor of Ponyville would have access to in order to address them. I value honestly highly and I did not wish to make any promises that I wouldn't have the means to actually keep. That said... I can now confidently make a second platform promise." "As I'm sure you are all aware, ever since the coronation of Princess Twilight Sparkle, Ponyville has greatly expanded in its population as ponies flocked to live in the same town as the newest alicorn princess of Equestria. While she has now moved to Canterlot to take over the duties of Princesses Celestia and Luna, the Friendship School that she has left behind and her positive opinion of the town will ensure that it will continue to grow as more ponies and beings from all varieties of life arrive. Ponyville has changed a lot in the last few years and it will continue to do so as time goes on... but not all change is positive." He paused again, letting that sink in as he took a few needed breaths. "As time goes on, more ponies of a wealthier, noble class of society will make a point of purchasing property in Ponyville to try and earn brownie points with the crown. As more do this, there is a serious risk of local businesses increasing their prices in order to take advantage of the appearance of more wealthy clients. If this situation is handled poorly, ponies that have lived in this town for generations might be forced to uproot and leave simply because... well, they can't afford to live here anymore. My promise to you is that I will do everything in my power as Mayor to keep this situation from getting out of hoof to begin with. No one wants to see the ponies who helped build up this great town be forced to leave because basics like food became to expensive to purchase in a farming town." "Are there any questions or rumors about me that you wish answered? Because now is the time to get it out in the open."
  14. March 8th, Town Hall Meeting. Turning his head towards the voice that had called out a question, Strong Copper couldn't help but blink for just a moment as he caught sight of the fiery unicorn mare... and quietly gulped a little to himself but tried to keep up appearances. Ever since coming to Ponyville, there was just beautiful mares everywhere. It was uncanny. Clearing his throat, he tried to play off his pause as him considering her question. "That... is a good question Miss. Also a somewhat difficult one, since 'toughness' is subjective. While there are plenty of animals out there that are dangerous because of brute force and an ability to withstand punishment like you wouldn't believe many possess either their own innate magics, exotic tricks and tactics that they employ... or in many cases just have means of defending themselves or hunting that are dangerous and deadly to those on the wrong side of them. But to answer your question about the toughest creature I've been up against in my career... two come to mind for different reasons." Taking a moment to get a deep breath, he started with "The first was a Nuckelavee. Don't feel bad if you're not familiar with the name, it is a largely oceanic creature that tends to make its home in colder, harsher areas of the ocean that can come ashore to unleash havoc when it desires. It's hard to describe but... it's like a mixture of a giant pony and an ape like creature, but not of a species that has been discovered. It has some degree of control over weather in that it likes to create droughts and its breath is toxic, able to wilt plants and cause sickness in those unfortunate enough to be breathed on. While it hasn't been completely confirmed, there are a number of stories of Nuckelavee who caused full on epidemics... and there is enough evidence to support these stories having some degree of truth to them. They tend to hibernate between mid-spring to mid-autumn, only really being active around winter and the colder, harsher times of the year. " "The one weakness of the Nuckelavee is that it cannot stand natural fresh water. It is literally one of the few things that can actually cause it pain. Strangely enough, magically created fresh water doesn't harm it at all and no one can quite agree as to why. As for how I encountered it... well, I was on a ship that was carrying much needed supplies through a stretch of sea where it was believed a Nuckelavee had claimed as part of its territory. My role in that encounter was, to put it bluntly, to be an 'annoying pest'. While the Pegusi crew members were working together, actively fighting against the magical drought to create rain clouds, the rest of us were doing our best to annoy the hell out of it and divert its attention away from the cloud makers so it couldn't just make their efforts null and void. It is not a pleasant sensation, throwing everything you have at something and doing little more then annoy it... " There was a quick exhale of breath... before he perked up again "But the plan worked, rain water drove it away and we made landfall soon after." The smile of victory slowly started to fade into a more... pensive look. "The second... was a manticore. I don't feel I need to explain what a manticore is here because... well, some live in the Everfree. A powerful and dangerous creature when it wants to be, but highly intelligent and generally tends to leave ponies alone unless you wander into its hunting grounds. Plenty of tales about ponies befriending them as well. " A sigh escaped him as he sadly shook his head to himself "This is not one of those stories. It wasn't really its fault either. The poor thing had been infected with a strain of rabies and... well, by the time the nearby settlement figured out that there was a problem and called me in to figure out what was attacking the local herds of cows, the manticore was simply to far gone to be helped. The illness consumed it until all that was left was pain and blind, murderous rage.... and in that pain fueled rage it attacked the town directly." For a moment, Strong Copper said nothing. There was a glazed look in his eyes, suggesting that he wasn't on a stage and looking out at those gathered to hear him speak... but that moment was short lived as he suddenly shook his head and refocused "Thankfully, the only death that day was the manticore itself but... not from lack of trying. A number of brave and unlucky ponies will bare scars from that day for the rest of their lives. I should stress that when it comes to working with animals in my career, I generally do not fight to kill unless there is truly a pressing need to do so. Be it to protect my own life or safeguard the lives of others directly at risk. This, alas, was one of those times. " There was another pause, as he closed his eyes and picked his words carefully. "I will not burden you by going into details but... I honestly hope that no one here ever finds themselves in a situation where they are forced to contend with a creature so consumed by mind breaking pain and rage that they've abandoned caring about their own well being or even basic survival instincts. It is a hauntingly terrible, nightmarish thing to be witness to." His last words on the matter said, Copper was sullen for a few moments more before he lifted his head up and put on a brave face as he changed the subject and left the past behind "Any other questions?"
  15. Ponyville Town Hall, 8th of March. "Ladies and Gentlecolts, I wish to discuss a matter with you all that means a lot to me. In fact, it was the main reason I moved to Ponyville in the first place. You see, professionally, I work in... well, to put it bluntly I work in animal control... through not strictly speaking the kind you would normally find on the town hall bulletin board, offering to deal with a rodent infestation or a wasp nest that's being built up in your backyard. This world we live in is filled with all manner of creatures great and small, magical and mundane... and the sad truth of the matter is that a great deal of them are fully capable of causing a pony grave bodily harm. Having a wild fox or a stray cat declare your backyard as part of their hunting grounds is inconvenient for sure, but when a manticore or a timber wolf does it the situation gets somewhat more risky with much higher stakes. It is creatures of the latter group in which I tend to work with. I do not need to tell you that Ponyville is in an... interesting location when it comes to nearby sources of dangerous fauna. The Everfree Forest itself of course is the most well known, but the relatively nearby boggy bottom swamp has its fair share of dangerous creatures, the rarest but most dangerous being a full grown, four headed hydra. Fortunately, that one has decided to stay put in its home swamp, but you don't need me to tell you that incidents between animals native to the Everfree leaving the forest and entering Ponyville are fairly common. In fact, I confess that when I did my research of the last five years of Ponyville's incident history I can't help but feel like Ponyville has been given the strangest blessing I have ever seen: Last year alone, there was no less then twenty one reported incidents where a dangerous wild animal entered the town and caused havoc and panic, as well as property damage... and yet not a single fatality or serious injury was reported. While I give credit to those who have stepped up to ensure that these incidents have gone as well as they have, part of my platform as Mayor of Ponyville is to take some more active steps towards ensuring the safety of its citizens going forward. While I have several projects I would wish to introduce, there are two that I can promise I will put into affect when I enter office. The first is a 'Wildlife Watch' program in order to give Ponyville locals enough forewarning about approaching dangerous animals coming from the wild areas around town so that they can prepare themselves properly, rather then only find out about it when its stalking down the main street. The second is an educational program about the various fauna and flora found in these areas, so that in the event that a citizen comes across or encounters them they will have some understanding of what they are dealing with and what the best way to respond is. Now that you understand me a little better, I'm happy to take any questions you all might have for me."
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