Essentials Magazine/InstantNews will conduct two virtual candidates forums next week prior to the start of early voting in West University’s municipal election.
Invitations have gone out to the two candidates for mayor and nine City Council hopefuls — and now it’s voters’ turn to submit questions for possible inclusion and to get ready to ZOOM in.
The mayoral forum will run 45 minutes beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday (April 14), and the council forum will run for one hour beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday (April 15).
Essentials publisher George Boehme, a former West U City Council member himself, will moderate the sessions. West U residents are being asked to submit their signed questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5 p.m. Sunday (April 11). The final slate of questions will be submitted to candidates at least 20 hours in advance of the forums.
“We’re looking for tough, insightful specific questions about issues that will elicit the kind of answers that help voters make a decision,” Boehme said. “No ‘yes/no’ questions, no softball, ‘blue sky’ or self-serving ‘gotcha’ questions.”
Candidates will be held to tight guidelines and will be muted if they veer off topic or exceed their allotted time, Boehme said.
Audience members will be limited to 100 for each session and will be muted. ZOOM links are the following:
MAYOR FORUM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81645629250, Meeting ID: 816 4562 9250 Passcode: 808976
COUNCIL FORUM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84090654687 Meeting ID: 840 9065 4687 Passcode: 175015
Early voting will run from April 19-27, with the general election on May 1. Running for mayor are current Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Trautner and former Mayor Susan Sample. Incumbent councilmembers John Barnes, Lauri Lankford and Ed Sobash are running again, with former Councilmember Mardi Turner and political newcomers Rich Beck, Melanie Bell, Shannon Carroll, John Montgomery and Sam Parikh making a run.