Change Of Plans For Tonight's BOE Candidates Forum: Two Guests, Not Five
A candidates informational forum being organized by the Newtown PTAs and PTSA will have two guests tonight.
This is a change from the event’s original plan of five guests, who were each to answer four predetermined questions, according to the original flier and publicity for the event.
The BOE Candidates Informational Forum is scheduled for 7-8:30 pm in the auditorium of Newtown High School, 12 Berkshire Road.
Democratic candidates Dan Cruson Jr and Jennifer Padilla are still slated to appear.
Republican candidates Janet Kuzma, Jenn Larkin, and Donald Ramsey are not participating in the forum.
The Newtown Bee reached out to Newtown RTC and candidates for comment. The following has been received:
“Republican candidates will not be participating in tonight’s forum due to the hostile environment that continues to rear up in town meetings and websites. Recent quotes and responses published elsewhere have minimized what has been happening to the point of suggesting that nothing more than childish behavior or sharp criticism has occurred. Let's be clear. Nothing could be further from the real experience. Candidates have been unjustifiably personally attacked and characterized in the most reprehensible of terms, been accused of being a danger to children and have had their families, including children, drawn into the fray. Some of this activity is taking place on websites allegedly moderated by members of what are purported to be non-partisan organizations. Attempts have been made to bully and intimidate business owners for having a political point of view. Public participation in town meetings has gone off topic for the sole purpose of vilifying candidates. While we appreciate the substantial work of the organizers to pull this event together, it is time to make a stand against the small group of people who choose to behave in this way as well as those who tacitly support them by permitting or minimizing what they have done.”
Forum Format Unchanged
Ahead of the informational forum, residents were invited to submit questions via e-mail to organizers by October 11. According to advance publicity, attendees will also be given the opportunity to submit questions tonight.
Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue will welcome guests. NHS educator Jay Edwards will moderate.
Kristen Bonacci, one of the event moderators, told The Newtown Bee this morning that the schedule for tonight's event remains the same.
Each candidate will have four minutes to make an opening statement, each will respond to four predetermined questions, and each will then have four minutes to make a closing statement, she noted.
The event, she added, will still be livestreamed. The forum can be accessed here.
Associate Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.