CMA candidates 'forum' wasn't what audience members expected
Letters to the Editor
The Cheney Merchants’ Association held what they billed as a “candidates forum Oct. 7, from 6:30-8 p.m.” Those attending heard where the candidates have lived, their education and occupation, and previous involvement in community affairs. For this, I thank the CMA.
The 10-minute time allotment for each candidate was strictly enforced and they finished speaking shortly after 7 p.m. At that time, citizens in the fairly large audience tried to ask questions of the candidates, but were told by someone, evidently representing the CMA, that there would be no questions from the audience; rather, one on one conversation with the candidates could take place while the chairs were put away.
Webster’s dictionary defines “forum” as “a public meeting or lecture involving audience discussion.” A “forum” this was not, and the audience was not happy about it. I believe most of the candidates would like to have answered questions from the floor in the remaining time allotted, but they were not allowed to do so.
I hope that another organization will step up and host a real forum, with candidates and also issues, so that Cheney residents can make informed choices on Nov. 5.