Impressed by forum turnout

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 14, 2008

When this newspaper decided to experiment for the first time with hosting a public

candidate forum, we did so with no grand expectations of how citizens would respond.

Consider us blown away.

A hundred people turned out at the Paul D. Camp Community College Workforce Development Center on a cool, damp Monday evening — the night of college basketball’s national championship game, no less — to hear candidates for the Ward 1 and Ward 2 seats on the Franklin City Council answer a series of tough questions.

We sought those questions in advance from our readers, and, boy, did you ever respond. Nearly a hundred questions in all were submitted — on topics from schools to fiscal discipline to the proposed Navy training airfield.

What a great exercise in democracy. The tremendous response tells us that citizens are engaged in their community and interested in its future.

We commend the candidates and citizens for their participation in a process that can only make our city stronger.

Regardless of Monday night’s turnout, we were committed to hosting a second forum — this time for the city’s three mayoral candidates — later in the month. But as a result of Monday’s big crowd, the next morning we found ourselves working with the fine staff at the Workforce Development Center to reserve a bigger space for the April 30 event.

We look forward to seeing you there.