By MUSA News Staff
The Kiwanis Club of Middletown has volunteered to serve as this year’s non-partisan and non-political host for a citywide candidates’ forum for Mayor and City Council scheduled to air live on TV Middletown next month.
The 90-minute public forum will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13 in the Council Chambers of the City Building. Invitations to participate are being mailed to all candidates for mayor, at-large council member and Ward 1 council member, explained incoming Kiwanis Club President T. Duane Gordon, executive director of the Middletown Community Foundation.
“Casting your ballot is not only one of the most sacred rights we have as Americans, but one of our supreme duties as citizens,” Gordon, who will moderate the forum, said. “As one of our community’s leading service clubs, members of the Kiwanis Club of Middletown are honored to play a role in helping educate our fellow citizens on who is running for local office and what they believe.”
Voters who cannot attend the forum in person are encouraged to submit their questions for the candidates via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Gordon said questions will be placed in an order based largely on the importance of the issues about which the writer is inquiring and clarity of the question. The questioner is asked to include a first name that will be read on air with the question.
He added that members of the audience who wish to ask a question in person during the broadcast are requested to arrive 15 to 30 minutes prior to the start of the forum to submit their questions in writing. Those questions will likewise be placed in an order based on importance and clarity, he explained, and attendees will be called up to ask their question in person during the program. Questions will alternate between those submitted via e-mail and those asked in person.
Kiwanis Club is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to “changing the world one child and one community at a time.” Locally, the Kiwanis Club of Middletown is known for its volunteer work throughout the community and its annual pancake day fund-raiser (the 47th annual breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5 at the VFW Hall – tickets on sale now). Recent projects include building a backyard garden for House of Hope homeless women’s shelter, cleaning homes for Supports to Encourage Low Income Families’ summer workcamp home repair program, reading books from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library aloud monthly to children in the Middletown area Head Start classrooms, creating hand-made “trauma dolls” given to children in the emergency room at Atrium Medical Center and staffing the Middletown Arts Center’s Community Art Day.
Candidates for mayor are incumbent Larry Mulligan Jr. and challenger Paul Nagy. Candidates for the unexpired Ward 1 seat currently held by appointed Councilman Tom Allen, who chose not to seek election to the position, are Ann Mort and Mike Presta. Candidates for the two at-large seats are incumbent Anita Scott Jones, Dan Picard (currently the Ward 4 representative), Todd Moore, Nick Kidd and Joe Mulligan. The second at-large incumbent, Bill Becker, chose not to seek re-election.