Granby candidate forum March 2
Special to the Sky-Hi News
I plan to moderate a candidate forum next Wednesday, March 2 for those running for the five open seats on the seven-member Granby Board of Trustees. The candidate forum takes place starting at 5:30 p.m. at the base lodge at Ski Granby Ranch.
Anyone with even the vaguest interest in policies enacted in the town of Granby — Grand County’s largest town both in population and geographical foot print — should make it a point to attend. My goal for this event is for candidates to have an opportunity to express their positions on town governance policy and for the attendees to have a good grasp of the personalities and opinions of the candidates.
This way citizens can make informed decisions when they vote. (Mail-in ballots will be mailed to active registered Granby voters starting March 14 and must be returned by 7 p.m. April 5.)
What to expect
The format will consist of a three-minute introductory statement from each candidate followed by a question-and-answer session during which I imagine several questions will be asked of all the candidates. The event will end with a two-minute concluding statement from each candidate.
Having done several of these events in the past during some contentious elections, I’ve learned a few things about being fair and keeping the event moving along.
First, the order in which the candidates make their introductory statements and respond to queries will vary. In other words, they won’t respond in alphabetical order each time. The order will be varied in attempt to give everyone the advantage (or disadvantage) of being the first respondent or the last respondent or smack-dab in the middle. The candidate whose last name begins with “Zy” won’t always be last and Mrs. Aardvark won’t always be first.
I will time all responses. As I said, each candidate will get a three-minute introductory statement. Responses to questions from the audience will be limited to one minute each. With nine candidates, I’m hoping to keep responses brief and to-the-point.
I will not be coming up with topics for the questions to the candidates. The question topics will come from people in the audience. At the door there will be paper and pencils available and people will have time to write down their queries and submit them. (If people want to send me some queries by e-mail, my e-mail address will be at the end of this column.) Then I will look them over and come up with questions that I think fairly represent the concerns of the attendees. Yes, people will have to depend on me to do some filtering and editing, but this is the best way to do it for the sake of time and to avoid personal attacks and questions directed only at one candidate.
And as a matter of strict policy from which there will be no deviation, I will not allow any rotten tomatoes into the venue!
I won’t allow questions directed to one candidate such as: When did you stop driving drunk? When did you stop shooting up heroin? Etc. (I don’t mean to suggest that such questions could be asked of any of the candidates, I want to make clear. These are just extreme examples presented here in order to illustrate a point!)
I don’t think this event should last any longer than two hours. With nine candidates answering six to seven questions, including a three-minute introduction and a two-minute concluding statement, that puts us right at a little under two hours. However, I can be flexible if I sense a continuing insatiable appetite for more political questions.
I’ve been informed that one candidate may not be able to attend the forum and that another may be late. I’ve told these candidates that they may submit a three-minute introduction that I can read or that can be read by a person of their choosing. If a candidate shows up late due to a doctor’s appointment or other conflict, they can join us and I will allow an introductory statement to be read by the candidate when he or she arrives.
The candidates running for town mayor are: Dick Broady, Paul Chavoustie and David Lockwood. The candidates running for the four trustee vacancies are: Bethany Hardy, Jane Harmon, Rebecca Johnson, Greg Mordini, Nicholas Raible and Paul Robertson.
Patrick Brower, a longtime county resident, is the former editor and publisher of the Grand County Newspapers. He is currently the Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative. His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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