Editor’s Note: On Thursday, September 7th, BW posted a letter to the editor from the Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee about the candidate forum that would be held later that day at the Riverside Memorial Chapel by the Fleetwood Citizens Society. We received several emails from the FCS including a request that we allow them to write a reply and asked that we post it as well. Below is a response from the FCS to Thursday’s letter from the MVDCC (Mount Vernon Democratic City Committee). As always (whenever possible) we try to present both sides and let you the reader make up your own mind
Dear Friends and Citizens of Mount Vernon:
Thank you to all who attended the FCS meeting on Thursday, September 7th.
Everyone listened to and discussed the issues with the candidates on our common goal for a better Mount Vernon.
The FCS has conducted many debates and forums, and has a great reputation for fairness and accountability. For this past forum we followed the same protocol we’ve used for every other debate. This year we started in mid-July, knowing even with a court case pending, there would still be between 5 and 8 candidates on the Democratic City Council ballot.
Our goal was to have all candidates present.
Originally, we were planning to have a Democratic Candidates Forum sometime in August. After a number of conversations with two MVDCC candidates, a spokesperson and a campaign manager, we were told that with their busy schedule maybe they can come to Fleetwood the last week in August or the first week in September.
The first date given to the FCS was for August 28. That date was already scheduled for the Wartburg debate.
On August 30th, we were told that Sept 5th or 7th were available.
We informed the candidates that the date was set for September 7th. To our surprise, we received a call saying that on that date they had a Fund Raiser and could not attend the debate in Fleetwood. They said It was a mix up in their schedules.
Again, the FCS was available any night the Democratic candidates were open to join us They could not find a date that was available for our forum. At this point, we contacted the other candidates, who were running independently. They were delighted to be part of the forum on Sept. 7th and share their ideas and priorities with the citizens of Fleetwood.
Those candidates were: Hope Marable, who is on the Sept. 12th ballot, and Butch Thomas, who is a write-in candidate on that date as well. Angela Neil, Steve Facendo and Robin Myers of the New Vision Party were also present and will be on the November ballot.
The FCS wanted all the candidates to be present but it seemed that because of other commitments the MVDCC candidates were unavailable.
John Di Giovanni
Fleetwood Citizens Society