Editorial: There will be forums for county council candidates

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They might not be in the form of sit-down, face-to-face events held in community halls, but Kings County council candidates in Districts 8 and 11 will have opportunities to discuss the issues.

Jim Winsor, a candidate in District 11 in the upcoming special council election, challenged opponents Gary Connolly and Dale Pineo to a debate facilitated by local media. Connolly and Pineo were not willing to commit to a debate, at least not at this point, in the form proposed by Winsor. They have their reasons, as covered in a story in this edition. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Connolly and Pineo are unwilling to engage in other forums, though.

In District 8, candidate Rick Ackland also wants to debate his opponents. Ackland had yet to make contact with potential opponents Ted Palmer and Dale Lloyd to gauge their response as of last week. However, he has stated on more than one occasion he would like to have a debate facilitated by local media.

Although TC•Media hasn’t facilitated debates for county council elections in the past, considering that there are only two districts involved in the special elections coming up March 16, we would be willing to serve as moderator for such a debate (if candidates could agree on parameters). It isn’t practical when you have 11 district elections on the go, but it could be managed in this situation.

It doesn’t look likely at this juncture that such debates will happen, but there will be other avenues for candidates to explore when it comes to getting their messages out through local media.

We are committed to having the candidates visit our office on appointment to sit down with a reporter to record video profiles. The editorial department would decide on questions in advance. Although the candidates wouldn’t know going in what would be asked, each candidate would be given the same questions to ensure fairness.

The videos would be edited, shown on www.kingscountynews.ca and portions of interviews would most likely serve as the basis for some print coverage in the Kings County Advertiser and Kings County Register. Candidates, try to book early so the videos for each district can be released at the same time out of fairness and shown in a timely manner.

The editor will consider submissions from candidates and there are plans to hold a live online forum on Kingscountynews.ca during an evening so viewers can pose questions directly to candidates. Of course, this would depend on the willingness of candidates to participate. There will be ongoing coverage as election issues progress or new ones become apparent.

These local media initiatives serve a purpose very similar to that of a debate, but perhaps would be more palatable to candidates in the sense they would be more controlled and less confrontational in nature.

We consider these steps a service to the community to help voters in these districts make the most informed decisions possible.

Winsor, Pineo, Connolly, Ackland, Lloyd and Palmer, we’re waiting to hear from you if, in fact, you intend to stand as official nominees. To anyone else considering throwing his or her hat in the ring, we’re waiting to hear from you, too.


- Candidates, you can contact Kirk Starratt at 681-2121 Ext. 321 or kstarratt@kingscountynews.ca to arrange appointments for video profile interviews at TC•Media’s Kentville office.

Organizations: Kings County council, Kings County Register

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