I need to clarify a couple of things about our upcoming “Meet the Candidates” night and this blog seems like one good place to start. I have had some questions about why the questions have to be submitted in advance and why they can’t be turned in during the event. There will be an opportunity for audience members to write questions and submit them during the event. Jerry Mottern, our elementary principal, will circulate through those in attendance and accept questions in writing during the evening and then giving them to the PTA moderators.
Just in the interest of time, the PTA moderators have to make some decisions about which questions to ask. We want to ensure that each candidate has a fair and equal opportunity to answer each question, thus the timed responses of 2 minutes per question. If you think about it, that’s a minimum of 8 minutes per question. How long can people possibly be there? In an hour, if we figure an additional two minutes to pose the question, that’s ten minutes per question and only six questions per hour. I’ve already had twenty two questions submitted!
I also want to be clear that this is not my event and I’m not controlling the questions. Every question that has been submitted has been forwarded to our PTA moderators and they will choose which to ask with an eye toward asking as many diverse questions as possible. This is the community’s election, not mine. As the superintendent, I will work diligently with whomever this community elects–I have no hidden agenda and have worked hard to be open and honest and as transparent as possible.
We aren’t allowing random questions from the floor for three reasons. One, we want all candidates to have the chance to answer all of the same questions. Two, we won’t allow personal attacks. These are our community members who are volunteering their service to the district–no one deserves to be publicly attacked for that service. A public forum where we invite candidates to share their ideas on the issues should be respectful and fair. Three, just in the interest of time and to allow the PTA moderators to ask as many questions as possible, we have to have some control of the question and answer time frame.
We are not having a BOE meeting to follow the “Meet the Candidates” night so that we can allow as much time as possible for BOE candidate questions. Please join us, please submit your questions in advance, at the beginning of the event, or during the event and allow the moderators to ask as many diverse questions as possible. It should be an interesting evening and a chance for you to learn more about what our BOE candidates think. I hope to see you there!
May 12, 2009 “Meet the Candidates” Night to follow the Public Hearing which begins at 6:30 in the High School Auditorium