Readers Can Affect Forum Questions

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By Kevin E. Foley

As the first candidate’s forum of the campaign season approaches, Philipstown.info continues to invite citizens to propose questions for the candidates who will appear on Monday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. in the music room of Haldane Middle School. Publisher Gordon Stewart previously asked that his planned questions be available on the website so candidates could prepare more in-depth replies and also to assure two candidates, Lee G. Erickson and Katie DeMarco, that there will be no surprise or trick questions for them, “if they have the confidence and are permitted by their party bosses to show up for a discussion of the issues and their qualifications with Richard Shea, Nancy Montgomery, Barbara Scuccimarra and Dave Merandy.”

In asking for additional questions, Stewart said he was looking for inquiries about broad policy issues that generally affect all the citizens of Philipstown. “Some of the subjects already raised by readers include school taxes, government consolidation initiatives, property valuations, and emergency services. It’s likely that the candidates will address these issues as they respond to my questions, at least in part. However, reader input will help suggest areas for follow-up and we at Philipstown.info welcome all views,” he said.

While he reserves the right as moderator to decide the final group of questions in the interests of time, Stewart said he definitely intends to use some of the public’s questions so the discussion reflects voter interest. “As I have said before, we are not trying to have a contest about rhetorical skills or clever answers. In a local race like this we think it is more desirable to have the fullest possible expression of the candidates’ views about the best approaches to the town’s future,” said Stewart.
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 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 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)?

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