Mayoral Candidates Have Opportunity to Share Views

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Mullan House and a citizens committee is sponsoring the four candidates running for mayor of Mullan to participate in a moderated, candidate forum the evening of Tuesday, October 22, 2013.

Mullan House and a citizens committee is sponsoring and has invited the four candidates running for mayor of Mullan to participate in a moderated, candidate forum the evening of Tuesday, October 22, 2013. The Forum will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Morning Club auditorium where the candidates will have the opportunity to answer questions and state positions on issues of interest to local residents.

“This is the first time in decades that Mullan has had so many candidates vying for the office of mayor,” stated Clare Drake, committee chairperson for the Mayoral Candidate Forum. The four candidates are: incumbent Mike Dunnigan, and challengers Jeff Bergstrom, Don Kotschevar, and Jim Ungerbeuhler.

“We believe it’s important for voters to learn more about the candidates, where they stand on issues, and what ideas they might bring to the table to improve city services and boost the Mullan economy. Access to this kind of information better equips residents to make an informed choice when voting for the individual they believe will serve the community best,” Drake continued.

All four candidates have acknowledged receipt of their invitation to participate. As of October 11, three have agreed to take part in the discussions; one candidate has not yet agreed to participate.

The public and media are encouraged to attend. Space will be provided for candidate literature; however, no candidate signs or banners will be allowed inside the Morning Club that evening. Once the formal program is adjourned, voters will have the opportunity to meet and talk with the individual candidates.

The Candidate Forum Committee has also asked a number of Mullan’s opinion leaders, both individuals as well as organizations, to help promote the event. General reaction has been supportive of the Forum and its goal of helping voters be better informed prior to the November 5 general election. The Committee has also requested that students at Mullan Junior/Senior High School participate in the event, primarily as timekeepers and ushers who will collect questions from the audience, which will be posed to the four candidates.

The Candidate Forum Committee contacted the League of Women Voters to help establish the format and ground rules best suited for candidate interaction with voters. A debate format was contemplated, but considered potentially too contentious. The forum format was judged the best alternative to engage candidates and voters in meaningful discussion through questions presented by a neutral moderator followed by candidate responses.

Each candidate will have the opportunity to make an opening statement of one minute and a closing statement of one minute. The moderator will ask each candidate a series of questions in rotational format. Candidates will have one minute to respond to each question and some questions will provide time for rebuttal. Forum topics will include the following subjects:

Topics:    
General questions about each candidate’s background and familiarity with city government
How city government might help improve and grow the Mullan economy
How city government might enhance or expand community services
How city government might gain access to additional sources of revenue

Format:    
Candidates will be seated in alphabetical order by first name
Each candidate has time for opening and closing statements
Moderator will ask all questions; audience questions are read by the moderator
Candidate order for question response rotates with each question
Some questions may offer time for rebuttal
As many questions as possible will be asked as time permits
Timers will display a yellow card when speaker has 15 seconds remaining and a red card when response time is up
Civility is required at all times – no personal attacks against fellow candidates or audience members

To participate in the Forum, each of the mayoral candidates will have had to agree that all or part of the proceedings may be broadcast the evening of October 22, 2013, and rebroadcast, in total or in part, several times before the November 5, 2013, general election. Further, the candidates must also agree that the residents of Mullan own the exclusive rights to the recorded material and that distribution of this material will be managed by the Candidate Forum Committee.

For additional information, contact either Clare Drake at 208-682-4565.

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