March 21, 2002

Forum Offers Residents Chance To Meet Candidates

The April 2 municipal election is just around the corner. Do you know who you will be voting for to fill such important government positions as mayor and alderman in Memphis, Arbela, Rutledge and Granger? Then there is the Proposition C Waiver that has been proposed for the Scotland County R-I School Board not to mention the election of board members for both SCR-I and Gorin school boards.

The Scotland County Business and Professional Association has joined with the Memphis Democrat and KMEM radio to sponsor a candidate forum to help voters make an educated choice when they cast their ballots on April 2.

The forum will be held at the Memphis Theatre March 27. Candidates for every city and school board position in Scotland County have been invited to attend the event and speak to the public. Overall 30 candidates have been invited to participate. Behrens asked all prospective speakers to please contact him no later than March 22 to verify their attendance.

The forum will get underway at 7:00 p.m. There is no charge to attend.

SCBPA president Jeff Behrens has spearheaded the project.

"This is something I have wanted to do ever since I moved here," Behrens said. "It will be especially beneficial to people, like myself, who have not grown up here in Scotland County, so we might know all of these folks running for office. But overall it gives everyone a chance to get a firsthand look at what a candidate plans to do in office, if elected."

Behrens indicated that each candidate will be given a four-minute window to address the crowd. These speeches will be broken down into different categories for the different offices.

Following the process the forum will be opened up to questions from the audience.

KMEM's Mark Denney will serve as emcee for the candidate forum.

In addition to the regular candidates, Behrens indicated that SCR-I Superintendent LeRoy Huff will be on hand to discuss the Prop C waiver tax issue. He will present information on the topic and then will be available to answer questions.

"This type of candidate forum was something I grew accustomed to while I was in college in Columbia," Behrens said. "I hope it gives people an opportunity, at least in their mind, to determine who the best candidates are and to vote accordingly. It's simply an opportunity for those who want to know a little more before they cast their vote."

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