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Friday, October 9, 2009

The Lake "Debate"

We received an email from Pat Nolan, the President of the Lake Association regarding a debate he's hosting next week. We are posting it because at the moment there appears to be no other forum that would bring the candidates to a much needed face off.

It is however troubling that Mr. Nolan, and not a bonifide non partisan organization such as the League of Women Voters is moderating the event. Mr. Nolan was a candidate for a Democratic Party Committee seat last year in ED 4. He ran with the slate of candidates backed by Jeff Spain, Katie Connolly and the GOP allies in an effort to maintain control of the Democratic Committee in the hands of Jeff Spain.

How odd that it seems Democrats and not Republicans appear to question the legitimacy of the forum. Democrats long ago issued a debate challenge to the Republicans and Mr. Miner, the Building Department head backed by the Conservatives and the Contractor for Water District 14. Unless another organization steps up to sponsor debates using the League of Women Voters or another non partisan facilitator for such an event, we hope the Democrats attend.

Here is Mr. Nolan's announcment:
The L.A.K.E. Association is sponsoring a Meet the Candidates Night. The following letter has been sent to as many candidates and committee leaders as possible. We are trying to reach out to as many people associated with this election as possible so that we can help our Snyder's Lake community neighbors meet the candidates and learn where they stand on the issues thereby assisting them in making informed decisions on Election Day. We would hope that you might consider posting some or all of this letter to your blog in the interest of promoting this event.

October 7, 2009

The L.A.K.E. Association
Mr. Patrick Nolan, President
PO Box 621
Wynantskill, NY 12198

Dear Sir or Madame,

The L.A.K.E. Association is pleased to host a Meet the Candidates Night, on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. The event will take place at 265 Peck Rd., known by many as The Excelsior House. We have decided to host this event in order to facilitate a forum which can be used by our neighbors to learn more about the candidates and issues that affect our town in preparation for the upcoming November elections. We are hopeful that the candidates for the following offices are able to attend: Town Justices, Town Highway Superintendent, Town Clerk, Town Council and Town Supervisor.

This is an informational meeting for our community members and not a pep rally. We request that everyone in attendance conduct themselves in a respectful fashion. Audience members will not be allowed to clap, cheer, boo, hiss, etc. Audience members that do not conduct themselves in accordance with these rules will be asked to leave. Please be aware that this is a private residence and any requests to leave must be honored.

Audience questions:
Baskets for questions will be placed at the entrance as audience members enter the meeting room. Questions for each position will be deposited in their respective basket. Questions may not be placed later than 7:15 p.m. so that they may be reviewed for acceptable content. Question reviewers will be L.A.K.E. Association members that are representatives of the political parties represented (1 Democrat, 1 Republican, 1 Conservative). Question reviewers will complete their review and will eliminate any questions that are not generic enough for all candidates for the position to answer. Questions will be about Town of North Greenbush issues only. In order to limit the total event time we will limit the number of questions to no more than 5 per group.

Each candidate will have 3 minutes to introduce themselves and provide their stance on issues. Candidates will not use this time to speak out against their rivals or rival parties.

Due to the nature of the Town Justice positions we feel that this time period would not lend itself to a typical question and answer period in regards to “issues”. We would ask that these candidates please consider using their time period to tell us about themselves, who they are, why they want the position and possibly how they are qualified to hold this position.

We are aware of only one person running for the Town Highway Superintendent. We ask that he also use the alloted time to answer questions similar to those provided for the Town Justice candidates.

Question & Answer Period:
At the end of the introduction period, questions will be proposed to the candidates beginning in alphabetical order. Each candidate will have 1 minute to respond to each question. We will rotate the presentation of questions to the candidates in an alphabetic manner (e.g. Round 1: Ashworth, Evers, Miner, Round 2: Evers, Miner, Ashworth, Round 3: Miner, Ashworth, Evers, etc.). Candidate(s) will be provided 1 minute rebuttal periods.

While we feel that one minute to answer questions might be difficult and limiting, we ask that the candidates be understanding that this is a personal residence being used for this event and that many attendees may have to work, go to school, care for children, etc. the following morning. Having said that we provide the following schedule that we would like to keep to as closely as possible.

7:00 – 7:15 Welcome
Event rules and question submittal period.

7:15 – 7:30 Town Justices
Raymond Elliott
Kate Dell
Stephanie Piel
Joshua Sabo

7:35 – 7:40 Town Highway Superintendent
Mark Premo

7:45 – 8:15 Town Clerk
Katie Connolly
Jann Liberty

8:20 – 9:15 Town Council
Joe Bott
Rich Fennelly
Kelly Hoffman
Patricia Noel

9:20 – 10:00 Town Supervisor
Josephine Ashworth
Mark Evers
Mike Miner


Anonymous said...

This registered conservative loved the Democrat sponsored ads in the Advertiser the past two weeks.

The people are tired of seeing North Greenbush elected officials dealing with the developers instead positive growth planning for our town. Residents of all parties do not want to see Rt. 4 become a future Central Ave. or Wolf Rd.

We do want to see development like the Bloomingrove Animal Hospital and the Ivy Spa. Those businesses are needed and in keeping with the village character of Defreestville.

Anonymous said...

I'm not thrilled with ny town becoming the next Colonie or Latham either.

But, as far as the debate goes if questions are to be reviewed by a member of the 3 major parties and all 3 people approve them, it would be hard to consider them biased. However, I will hold off on any criticism or kudos until afterword. It should be interesting.

Pat Nolan said...

It should be noted that this event is sponsored by the LAKE Association (a non-partisan organization) and not by me, Pat Nolan, who happened to run for a political seat within our party. I will not be involved in deciding which questions will be asked. I will "emcee" the event and will attempt to ensure that this event is held in a respectful and non-partisan manner.

Also, I am proud to say that I did run for our committee and that there is no hidden agenda here.

Anonymous said...

The question is who gets to decide who the Democratic screener of questions is? With the factions in that party and Dems endorsing Republicans, it's crazy to say its fair because a "Democrat" might be one of the 3 screeners of questions. Will it be someone from the side of the party that opposes the Democratic candidates or someone on their side who will protect their interest in fair questions? Each party chair should select a screener and not someone unfamiliar with the sides.

Anonymous said...

None of the screeners should be a member of any political committee