Come question city candidatesEight people trying for seats on the City Council are expected to participate in a candidates forum starting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, at City Hall, 222 Lewis St., in the council chambers.
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
Eight people trying for seats on the City Council are expected to participate in a candidates forum starting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, at City Hall, 222 Lewis St., in the council chambers.
The event is sponsored by the local branch of the American Association of University Women and the River Falls Area Optimist Club.
“Democracy only works when people are involved,” said AAUW Public Policy Chairwoman Barb Peterson. “So come talk to these candidates firsthand and ask them questions on issues you’re concerned about.”
River Falls Communications Coordinator Dawn Wills said the forum should last about 90 minutes. It will not be shown live but shown later on local cable TV.
“The candidates forum should be on Channel 16 by March 1, and will run until election day (April 3) at various times,” Wills said.
The Feb. 27 evening forum at City Hall will be moderated by Rita Kozak. She’s been moderator for many similar forums over the years.
The audience will be encouraged to turn in written questions for the candidates to answer.
“This could be a wild one with eight candidates responding,” said Peterson, adding that the forum will only be informative if the audience has a good set of questions to ask.
This is AAUW’s first partnership sponsoring a candidates forum with the Optimist Club.
For many years AAUW would partner with the local League of Women Voters before that local branch disbanded.
The candidates scheduled to appear Feb. 27 are:
- For mayor: Don Richards, 106 N. Wasson Lane, and Dan Toland, 420 E. Elm St.
- Council member at-large (two seats, four candidates): Lauren Evans, 315 E. Elm St.; Scott Morrissette, 2137 Rushmore Drive; Eunice Beauchman, 726 S. Main St.; and David Cronk, 842 Leroy Lane.
- Council member District 4 (wards 12, 13 and 14): Bob Hughes, 249 Foster St.; Ed Valle, 1410 Foster St., and Christopher Gagne, 1164 Bartosh Lane #2. (One of these three candidates will be eliminated after the Feb. 21 primary.)
Peterson said another forum will soon be announced for school board candidates on either March 7 or 8.
Three school board seats are open for the April 3 spring election. The only official candidates are the incumbents: Barb Kolpin, Mike Miller and Alan Tuchtenhagen.
Peterson said a forum is still a useful way for audience members to express their views on school issues they consider important.