Forum offers opportunity

Published 2:19 pm Thursday, September 29, 2016

In Beaufort County, at least one candidates forum is scheduled to take place before the Nov. 8 general election. There might be at least one more in the works.

On Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. in Beaufort County Community College’s auditorium, the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Daily News will host such a forum. Candidates for the District 1 seat in the state Senate, candidates in the District 6 and District 3 seats in the state House, candidates for the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners and candidates for the Beaufort County Board of Education will be invited to speak, according to the forum’s hosts.

There’s been talk about the Beaufort County Republican Party and the Beaufort County Democratic Party jointly hosting a candidates forum in the latter part of October, but that possibility has yet to be confirmed.

“There will be a moderator in place to field questions submitted by the public and keep time on each response to make sure all candidates are given equal speaking time,” reads the letter sent to candidates who may take part in the Oct. 11 forum.

Allowing the public to submit questions for candidates to answer assures that voters’ concerns will be addressed. Hopefully, voters will ask pertinent questions and not submit inquiries intended to embarrass candidates or pose accusatory statements.

One forum would go a long way in educating voters about candidates’ stands on various issues, including — but not limited to — taxes, economic development and use of county resources. A second forum would provide voters an additional opportunity for voters to hear what candidates have to say about issues important to the community.

The more a voter can be educated about candidates and issues, the more likely that voter will make an informed decision when it comes to choosing candidates he believes will do the best job in office. And feedback from those who attend such a forum will let candidates know what’s important to voters and what they want done, or not done, regarding certain issues.

Informed voters and candidates should make for an election process that results in better government. At least that’s the desired result.