Three Forums For City Candidates
- by Lisa Monti
For the first time, Bay St. Louis voters have a new way to access voting information during this year’s municipal elections.
Serve BSL, a nonpartisan online forum, offers information on the candidates and their take on issues important to the city. All candidates for city council and three of the four mayoral candidates participated in Part One of the forum by providing qualifications and photos.
In Part Two, candidates for mayor and council have an opportunity to answer a set of questions selected from those submitted by citizens. Answers to questions will be posted mid-April.
Talk of the Town
The Hancock County Democratic and Republican Committees will jointly host a forum April 19 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Bay St. Louis Community Center, 301 Blaize Ave.
Moderators from both political parties will ask Democratic and Republican candidates on the May 2 primary ballot questions during the forum. Independents and unopposed primary candidates can attend to provide information about themselves to the audience.
Voters attending the forum have an opportunity to submit questions to the candidates. Written questions will be accepted until April 14 by going to www.bslbeyondpolitics.com and clicking on the Contact Us tab.
All questions will be submitted to the moderators, who will ask as many public questions as possible during the forum. Questions submitted via the website will be confidential.
If you have questions about the Hancock County Democratic and Republican Parties’ Candidate Forum procedures, rules or policies, contact Bruce Northridge at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark Carter at email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alliance is presenting the forum as a service to the community “so the candidates and the voters can meet each other,” said the Alliance’s Lana Noonan.
The forum will have a moderator and a panel of professionals who will be asking the candidates questions. Council candidates will be first up for the questions, and after a brief intermission the mayoral candidates will answer questions from the panel members. No questions will be taken from the audience.
Noonan said candidates are welcome to bring campaign material to distribute to voters before the forum, during the intermission and at the end of the event.
The non-partisan community service organization has held forums for state, county and local elections since it was formed in 2010. “It is a service project we do at our own expense,” Noonan said. “Our goal is to make the public aware of what’s going on and to hear what the candidates have to say.”
The well attended forums also give the candidates an opportunity to meet large numbers of voters. “We had a packed house last time,” Noonan said of the Bay St. Louis forum four years ago.
For more information or to sign up to speak, call 228-493-4358 or 228-363-9395.