Thursday, March 30, 2017 - Updated: 1:39 PMDid we do everything perfectly during the Mayoral Forum held March 9 — no. But for a first time attempt at hosting a forum such as this, we think the event was overall very successful.
Prior to the night of the forum all four candidates received information about how the forum would be held as well as a list of 13 possible questions that could possibly be asked during the forum. Unfortunately those questions were not numbered.
Prior to the forum, the questions we did number were cut into strips and put into a container and were drawn out randomly to determine the order the questions would be asked.
The names of all four mayoral candidates were also cut out and folded and placed into a second container. After each question was drawn, the names of the candidates were also randomly drawn to determine the order of who would speak.
At the forum, copies of the list of questions available as they were to be asked.
Some candidates did seem to be thrown off by the different order of the questions. Our moderator that evening asked a couple of times if they wanted a copy of the list of questions.
Following the forum, a post on social media by a “journalist” questioned the Planet’s intentions and accused us of trying to make Julian “Butch” Adams look bad. That is simply not true. The “journalist” should have asked us.
We wanted to have a forum where the candidates could express their views, visions and opinions to the questions being asked. We wanted the candidates to answer questions and for the forum not to turn into a debate where candidates could have rebutted any of the answers being given.
If anyone had questions about how the forum was handled or organized, they would have been more than welcome to call our office or drop by to talk to us about it, including the “journalist,” rather than blatantly accusing us of intentionally making someone look bad.
Our intent was to better inform the voters in Metropolis about the candidates running for the office of mayor, and we think through the Facebook Live feed and from our You Tube channel, that was accomplished, despite what the naysayers say or think.
In previous consolidated elections, the voter turnout in Massac County has been embarrassingly low. The county residents who only have to decide on school board members may think the election is “no big deal,” and might decide not to vote.
Don’t forget the lesson we all learned during last year’s November general election when votes were counted on Election night for the proposed 1 percent sales tax referendum — the referendum failed by one vote. Of course two weeks later the absentee ballots that were opened sealed the fate of the sales tax.
Anyone who thinks voting on school board members is not that big of a deal obviously has not been reading the Planet the past few weeks or been watching the Massac Unit One meetings on our You Tube channel.
Unit One Board of Education is facing huge cuts for the next school year and will likely have to make more cuts after that. These people who are elected to sit on the board will be the ones making decisions when it comes to your tax dollars and the majority of the property taxes goes to the school districts.
There are contested races for mayor in Metropolis and in Brookport and seven people running for four, four-year terms on the Massac Unit One School board. There are also candidates running for seats on the Metropolis and Brookport councils for aldermen and on Joppa’s village council and for the Joppa-Maple Grove school board.
So the bottom line is, don’t think your vote does not count because it does. Every election time, we will always encourage everyone who can vote to exercise your right to do so.