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Stage set for Farmington mayoral forum

Final preparations are being completed for Thursday evening’s Daily Journal/Farmington Press and Farmington Chamber of Commerce Mayoral Forum. The event will take place at Long Memorial Hall starting at 7 p.m.

Farmington mayoral candidates Jeannie Roberts, incumbent, and Stuart “Mit” Landrum Jr., current Ward 2 councilman, will take the stage to answer a series of 10 questions posed by moderator and Farmington Press Managing Editor Doug Smith. Five candidates vying for two seats on the Farmington R-7 Board of Education, and two candidates for Ward 4 on the city council will also be present.

“I’m very happy with how the event is coming together,” said Smith on Tuesday. “City hall will be decked out in a patriotic theme and I believe we have a great, informational evening lined up for voters. I’ve personally extended invitations to the mayoral, city council and school board candidates with contested races and all have agreed to attend.”

The five people vying for two school board positions and two candidates for the Ward 4 council seat will be introduced by Smith and have three minutes each to greet their constituents. Then the two mayoral candidates will be introduced and have a couple minutes for a welcoming statement.

At that point Smith will begin with the series of questions concerning industrial, economic and lifestyle matters affecting the community. “Questions came from a variety of sources,” the moderator said. “We received question topics from citizens by e-mail and phone calls, from newspaper staff and the Farmington Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee. I was very impressed with the array of topics compiled. It took several hours to compose every topic into a group of concise, though-provoking and relevant questions.”

The two mayoral candidates will participate in a coin toss prior to the event to determine who will answer the first question first. From that point on, the first person to answer the next question will be rotated between the two candidates.

A local Boy Scout troop will place flags around the lawn of city hall for the evening. The chamber will place some patriotic touches on the inside of the meeting hall. The candidates will be on stage with a display screen behind them. The screen will show the questions as the candidates are responding.

“The event is free and open to the public. We’re anticipating a good turnout of citizens interested in hearing what the candidates have to say prior to the April 7 election,” Smith said.

For those not able to attend, the Daily Journal will have Web site specialists on hand recording video of the event. Clips of responses to specific questions will be available to view on in the days following Thursday evening’s event.

Additionally, Molly Hartrup, instructor and director of Black Knight TV, will have members of Farmington High School’s broadcast and journalism classes taping the mayoral forum for rebroadcast on BKTV Channel 20. The debate will be replayed several times beginning Friday evening and continuing through April 6.

The dates and times of the BKTV Channel 20 broadcasts will be:

Friday (3/27) 7 p.m., 11 p.m.

Saturday (3/28) 9 a.m., 1 p.m., 7 p.m.

Sunday (3/29) 9 a.m., 1 p.m., 7 p.m.

Monday (3/30) 4 p.m.

Tuesday (3/31) 6 p.m.

Wednesday (4/1) 8 p.m.

Thursday (4/2) 10 p.m.

Friday (4/3) 7 p.m.

Saturday (4/4) 9 a.m., 1 p.m., 7 p.m.

Sunday (4/5) 9 a.m., 1 p.m., 7 p.m.

Monday (4/6) 6 p.m., 10 p.m.

Once the question and answer portion of the evening is complete, the mayoral candidates will have time for a brief closing statement.

“I just want to invite everyone out for the evening of information,” said Smith. “This is our first political forum in recent years, and I believe it is a great chance for concerned citizens to meet and hear first hand the positions of those people they will elect on April 7 to lead their city and school district in coming years.”

The event will be held Thursday evening at Farmington City Hall, also known as Long Memorial Hall, beginning at 7 p.m.

Anyone needing more information about the forum can contact Smith at 756-8927, or the Farmington Chamber of Commerce at 756-3615.

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