To the Editor:
I am looking for suggestions to make it easier for local voters to understand the ideas and positions of DeKalb’s four mayoral candidates.
While several forums allow the candidates to put forth ideas on a handful of issues, there are few ways for citizens to follow up by asking for clarification or a more complete answer. Further, most of the public forums do not readily allow candidates to question one another. When candidates question each other, their strengths and weaknesses are more likely to be revealed, issues confronting the city are more likely to receive in-depth consideration and inconsistencies or factual errors are more likely to be revealed.
All four mayoral candidates agree that it is important to have a public forum in which citizens can raise issues and explore them in greater depth through back-and-forth discussions. In addition, the candidates agree on the value of responding directly to each other in an appropriately moderated setting.
The problem is in finding or creating a forum in which such discussions could take place. Perhaps the Daily Chronicle or the local radio stations could run such a forum. Or, assuming it is legal, perhaps the city could make available public television facilities and, under sponsorship of local organizations, allow the candidates to have an ongoing televised public dialogue with citizens and each other.
Assuming that others accept the basic premise – that exploring issues in more depth with the mayoral candidates is of value – ideas on how to pull this off and with what sponsorship would be greatly appreciated.