TN to host forums for city candidates

Published 8:29 am Wednesday, April 14, 2010

FRANKLIN—With City Council elections less than three weeks away, voters will get a chance to size up some of the candidates in a series of public forums beginning next week.

Two forums sponsored by The Tidewater News will be held in the Conference Hall of Paul D. Camp Community College’s Regional Workforce Development Center on College Drive.

Incumbent Mayor Jim Councill and challenger James Riddick Sr., a member of the Franklin Planning Commission, will appear at the first forum at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 20.

A second forum, scheduled for the same time on Thursday, April 22, will feature City Council candidates for Ward 6, where incumbent Mark Fetherolf is not seeking re-election. Candidates Ray Smith and Jamie Brown have agreed to participate. A third candidate, Don Blythe, had not responded to invitations as of press-time Tuesday.

The newspaper is trying to organize a similar forum in Ward 3, where incumbent Rosa Lawrence is being challenged by Greg McLemore, but no date has been set.

Steve Stewart, publisher of The Tidewater News, will moderate the forums.

“We hope these forums will be informative and useful tools for voters as they choose their elected leadership in city government,” Stewart said. “I appreciate those candidates who have agreed to face the voters and express their views on a number of important topics. We hope to have a nice turnout.”

Voters can e-mail questions for the candidates to in advance of the forums. Stewart will ask the questions, which will not be shared with candidates in advance. Only policy- and issue-related questions will be asked. Questions about candidates’ personal lives will be rejected.

Each candidate will make opening and closing.