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Grand Haven candidate Q&A set for Oct. 23

Alex Doty • Oct 16, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Grand Haven voters will have a chance next week to hear from the candidates who’ll appear on the city ballot Nov. 7.

The League of Women Voters of the Grand Haven Area will host a candidates forum at beginning at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23, in the lower level of Loutit District Library, 407 Columbus Ave., in Program Room A.

Event organizers say the forum will allow city voters to get to know the two mayoral candidates and three council candidates in next month’s election.

“We’re separating the forums,” said Chris Baker of the local League of Women Voters chapter. “We’ll have the City Council forum starting at 6:30 p.m.”

The mayoral candidates forum will follow the completion of the City Council candidates forum, she said.

All of the city’s candidates are scheduled to attend the forum.

Mayoral candidates are incumbent Geri McCaleb and City Councilman Mike Fritz, who are seeking a two-year term.

The candidates for council are incumbents Bob Monetza and Dennis Scott, and challenger Andy Cawthon. The council seats are four-year terms.

Candidates will begin with an introduction, and then the League of Women Voters moderators will ask each one a series of questions.

“Our format is, typically, everyone gets a couple of minutes to do an opening statement, and then we alternate who gets to answer questions first,” Baker said.

Once the audience question-and-answer period wraps up, there will be a brief closing period when each candidate may make final remarks. Then, there will be time for audience members to submit questions on index cards for the Q&A session.

Loutit District Library Director John Martin said hosting the event lines up with the library’s mission.

“Libraries are all about accurate information and making available different viewpoints so residents can make informed decisions,” he said. “Hosting informational dialogues, that’s what we’re all about.”

Martin also noted that the library has hosted other civic-minded events, including U.S. citizenship and naturalization ceremonies — events that’ve incorporated voter registrations and passport applications.

The local League of Women voters is also hosting a Ferrysburg council and mayoral candidates forum on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at Spring Lake District Library.

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