Central Speaks Hosting “Virtual” Mayoral Debate

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The forums, (Indian Mound, Mayoral Forum and Candidate’s Forum), have been interesting and informative.  We have all heard the Mayoral Candidates respond to specific questions.  It seems that the two candidates are in agreement on many issues, but there are several issues where one or both candidates claim to differ.  As in most political races, many generalities and claims have been made and there is no way for the average voter to make an informed decision unless the candidates are specifically pinned down to answering a few tough questions.  All of the “community service” organizations such as CCA, the Chamber and, must refrain from asking those tough questions so that they do not appear to have sided with either candidate.  The only people truly poised to ask and answer these more sensitive and very telling questions are the candidates themselves.  So, let’s have a debate! is inviting both Mayoral candidates to participate in a “Virtual Debate” which will be in written form and posted on for every voter to read.  In order to remain neutral, will set a few basic guidelines and then let the candidates have their frank and honest exchange.  Here are the rules: 

1) On Thursday, March 18 at about noon, each candidate will be invited to participate.  They will have had no prior knowledge of this “Virtual Debate.”  At that time they will each be handed a copy of this form.  We ask that they each accept or decline by 5 PM. 

2) The candidates will have until noon on Saturday, March 20 to formulate three questions and prepare answers to these three questions.  The questions much each deal with only one general topic and be no more than fifty words in length.  It is necessary that the questions be phrased to apply to both candidates.  The answers may be as long or short as the candidate chooses, but must be limited to the topic contained in the question.  All questions and answers must be submitted in a Word document.

3) will review the questions and answers supplied by each candidate to ensure that they have met the guidelines above. will not alter or edit the questions and answers supplied by the candidates, and will only request corrections if the candidates have strayed outside the guidelines provided in item 2 above. 

4) By 5 PM on Saturday, March 20, will give each candidate the three questions and answers prepared by his opponent.  Each candidate will then have until 5:00 PM on Monday, March 22 to compose their own answers/rebuttals to their opponent’s three questions.

5) By 7 PM on Monday, March 22, we will post all six questions, six responses, and six responses/rebuttals on

It is intended that this “Virtual Debate” give the candidates one final opportunity to provide specific and accurate answers to questions that have become the focal points of this Mayoral race.  Also, it will give the candidates one final opportunity to require their opponent to give specific and accurate answers to those same questions.  In their answers the candidates are encouraged to avoid generalities, hopes and estimates and instead lean toward measurable and verifiable information and performance. 

We feel that this format does not favor either candidate.  We also feel that the two days allotted for each part of this “Virtual Debate” should be plenty of time for a candidate to articulate his ideas at this late date in the race.  Lastly, one unfortunate and unavoidable element of any debate held in any format is that one candidate or the other will always get the last word in on every question.  We feel that the advantage of having composed the question will offset the disadvantage of allowing the opponent to have the last word, and they will each have the last say on three of the six questions. 

We are hopeful that both candidates will agree to this even-handed exchange of questions and answers.  We further envision and hope that the voters of Central will read this information carefully and feel free to share it throughout the community so that all voters can have this additional and important information to make an informed decision at the polls on March 27th. 

*As of March 18, both candidates have agreed to participate in this debate. Check on the evening of Monday, March 22 for the results of this debate.