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Grand Island candidate forum set for Oct. 24

Sat, Oct 7th 2023 07:00 am


Four civic clubs and the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce are combining forces to present a candidate forum from 6:30-9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24. The forum will be held at Kaegebein Elementary School auditorium, 1690 Love Road.

The participating clubs are Rotary, Lions, Zonta and Kiwanis.

Offices to be elected this year on Grand Island are town supervisor, councilmember and town clerk.

The moderator will be John DiScuillo, a member of the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame and operations manager at WBBZ-TV.

Rotary had sponsored a candidate debate four years ago when three candidates were running for supervisor. Rotarian Mike Billoni said there was a call to do something similar this year.

“A couple months ago, someone contacted us asking if we planned to do a similar event this year, especially with so many issues on the table for the supervisor and town board,” he said.

“Our Rotary board discussed it and decided since this was an islandwide election, why not see if the other civic clubs – Zonta, Kiwanis, Lions and the Chamber of Commerce – would be interested in working together to produce what we are calling the first ‘Grand Island Candidates Forum.’ ”

Rotary President-elect Faye Teluk called the forum “unique, insightful and informative.”

“We are also proud to include students from the Grand Island High School Government Club to assist by ushering, time-keeping and reading a short bio of the candidates,” she said.

Teluk said the Rotary board contacted a representative from each group and held a meeting to discuss this event.

“We agreed to work together, along with students from the school; and we agreed that each organization had an equal stake in this event, and it was being presented by all of us for the interest of the voters on Grand Island to present a forum for the candidates to express their views,” she said.

Teluk said the forum, although not a League of Women Voters-sanctioned event, follows most of the same rules. Questions will be confined to issues, not personalities, she noted.

Tables will be available in the lobby for candidates to distribute campaign literature. No election material will be allowed in the auditorium.

Chamber President Eric Fiebelkorn set up a hyperlink and QR code for residents to send questions for the candidates of whatever office they would like the question directed. Visit https://form.jotform.com/232684102299055 or click the QR Code.

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