The Chelsea Record and the Chelsea Collaborative have agreed this week to sponsor a candidates’ forum at the Burke Complex auditorium on Monday, Oct. 26, for City Council and School Committee candidates.
The forum will seek to include all candidates and to ask questions of candidates in contested races. The goal is to familiarize the public with the candidates and their stances in one of the most hotly contested elections in some time.
The forum is open to the public and will be broadcast on Chelsea Cable TV as well. Parking is available in the school parking lot.
“We are pleased to co-sponsor this forum with the Chelsea Collaborative so that the voters in Chelsea can learn more about the candidates and their positions on the issues,” said Stephen Quigley, president of the Independent Newspaper Group. “Civic engagement is necessary as Chelsea moves forward under new leadership.”
Collaborative Executive Director Gladys Vega said forums are important in order to have voters who can hold their representatives accountable.
“I think we as community residents need to gather information from our candidates because when there is information, there is justification and hope,” said Vega. “If we don’t talk about the issues we are not acknowledging the responsibility we all have to built a better Chelsea. By holding these forums we are providing more information about the candidates to the voters, we are not only empowering our voters but also our residents. We all need to share the responsibility of keeping political officials accountable so they don’t abuse their power.”
The School Committee portion of the forum will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium.
After an introduction, all candidates will answer a first question that will serve as an opening statement, and will have one minute to do so. Those participating will be candidates in contested and non-contested races.
There are three contested races on School Committee.
Following that, two questions on the issues will be asked of only those candidates in contested races. Those same candidates will also be afforded a 30 second closing statement.
Then at 6:30 p.m., a 90-minute City Council forum will begin.Once again, after a brief introduction, all Council candidates – including district and at-large candidates in both contested and non-contested races- will answer the first question, which will act as an opening statement.
Following that, only candidates in contested races will participate in the questioning.
Only three district seats are uncontested.
There will be three rounds of questions asked.
The first two rounds will have questions asked by the panel, with candidates getting one minute to answer.
The third round will include a “lightening round” of questions – where candidates get only 30 seconds to answer questions.
For the at-large race, each candidate will get a different question.
For the district races, there will be one question per district so that answers can be compared.
Finally, each candidate in a contested race will get a 30 second closing statement.
None of the candidates will have the questions in advance, and a representative from the Record and from the Collaborative will ask the questions.
The forum is expected to conclude at 8 p.m.
The forum owes a debt of gratitude to the Chelsea Public Schools for allowing the use of the school, and to Chelsea Cable for broadcasting the program.
BOX OFF SIDEBAR –
Do you have an idea for a question?
The Chelsea Record and the Chelsea Collaborative are soliciting questions from the public to possibly be used in the Oct. 26 candidates’ forum.
If you have a question on any City issue that’s been bugging or perplexing you about local government or the schools, please submit it via e-mail to [email protected] Include the words ‘Question for Forum’ in the subject line. If it’s a good question, we’ll ask it of the candidates on Monday. Please feel free to submit one or more questions.