By Kevin E. Foley
The public is invited to attend the first candidates’ forum of the 2011 Philipstown election campaign for town office taking place on Monday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Haldane School. Philipstown.info publisher Gordon Stewart will moderate the candidates’ discussion in two segments, the first for the two supervisor candidates and the second for the four town board candidates, who are competing for two seats. Refreshments will be available.
“The format of this meeting will give the voters of Philipstown a chance to hear the visions, views and solutions of those who are competing to lead us,” said Stewart. “This is not a partisan sports event for the fans of opposing parties. It’s a neutral setting where all the candidates can present their qualifications, experience and understanding of the issues without time clocks or game show gimmicks. My role will be to facilitate a fair and equal discussion of ideas for Philipstown, not to referee a prizefight. There will be no surprise or trick questions,” he said.
Stewart said he wanted the questions for the forum in the public domain beforehand, so readers may comment on the questions and candidates can prepare to give their best answers. “I will simply ask a candidate the basic questions most citizens would expect you to answer if you’re asking for their vote. After all, if you’re on the ballot, don’t the voters have compelling reasons to hear directly from you — in person — just how you assess the challenges facing our town, what ideas you have for our future, and why you believe you are best qualified to lead us?” The questions Stewart has planned so far are:
- What do you believe are the most serious challenges we face as a town in the next two years, and how do you propose we meet them?
- What are our most important long-term issues, and what must we do to about them?
- Why are you running for office, and why do you believe you should be elected?
- What are two or three specific goals you have set for yourself if you are elected?
- What do you support and what do you oppose that the town board has done over the last few years?
- What question would you most like me to ask your opponent(s)?
- What question would you most like me to ask you?
- What do you respect and admire about your opponent(s)?
The forum will be held in the music room in the Haldane Middle School building. Philipstown.info plans to stream live video of the forum on the internet and will also post the videotape on the website for viewing by the voters throughout the campaign.