Archive for Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Changes in store for candidate forum

March 27, 2007

The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce's third and final candidate forum is at 7 p.m. tonight at Baldwin Junior High School. All Baldwin City Council and Baldwin School Board candidates will be in attendance.

"We're good," said Ivan Huntoon, vice president of the chamber who is in charge of the forums. "Everybody has agreed to be there. We might have one conflict, but I think I can talk her into it.

"It looks like we'll have a strong turnout," said Huntoon.

There are six candidates for three positions on the Baldwin City Council and five candidates for four positions on the Baldwin School Board. However, three of those four openings have incumbents running for re-election unopposed.

The forum will be in the auditorium at Baldwin Junior High School. That's a switch from the forums' usual location at Baker University. Huntoon said BJHS offers better parking.

Also different from in the past, candidates will not be given the questions ahead of time. Questions can be asked from the audience or submitted prior to the forum.

"It will be an open forum at the junior high," he said. "We are encouraging people to submit questions to the Baldwin City Signal. There may be people who won't want to stand up and ask questions."

But, there may be people who will stand up and ask questions that won't be allowed. No personal questions can be asked of candidates.

"That question will not be answered," said Huntoon, who will be the moderator. "I don't want it to be a specific question for a specific candidate. Questions need to be for all candidates."

Grouping both city council and school board candidates together is also different from past forums.

"I figure there are questions that apply to both races," he said. "It may encourage better turnout. There may be people who would go to the city council forum, but not the school board and vice versa.

"I think it's important to get as many people out as possible," said Huntoon.

The general election is April 3. Council incumbents are Ted Brecheisen Jr., Nancy Brown and Tony Brown. Challengers are Jennifer Hayes, Kenny Niehoff and Ken Wagner. Profiles on the candidates were published in the Signal prior to the primary election and are available in the Election 2007 section of the Web site.

The only contested race for school board is for the at-large, position No. 7 where Teresa Arnold and Joshua Mihesuah advanced from a field of originally four candidates in the primary. Incumbents running unopposed are Alison Bauer, Blaine Cone and Scott Lauridsen. Profiles on Arnold and Mihesuah are on-line, as well as all other stories on the election to this point.

Thursday's Signal will include complete coverage of the forum, including pictures.

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