The Carroll Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum on Wednesday night saw light attendance with only about 30 residents taking an hour to hear the city candidate positions. However, there was no shortage of questions coming in from those people as well as those listening on the livestreamed event. After being given a chance to introduce themselves, the candidates responded to questions about their 10-year vision for Carroll, quality of life issues that they see as priorities and how they would work to help Carroll grow, even amidst predictions that there will be a population downtown in the next decade. But perhaps one question that really struck a chord with the majority of candidates was the one addressing the shortage of people in attendance, voter apathy, as well as rumors circulating throughout the community about the possibility of a write-in campaign. Moderator, Trish Roberts, posed the question to the panel.
Jean Ludwig, who is running in the only contested race in Carroll, that for the Ward Three seat on the City Council, was unware of this type of scheme.
Her opponent, Clay Haley, says that there are two good candidates on the ballot for the Ward Three seat. He thanked Ludwig for running, saying there seems to be a limited amount of interest in taking on the challenge of elected service. But he also says community members deserve the right to know where a candidate stands.
Dr. Eric Jensen, who is running unopposed for his second term as mayor, says he has heard rumblings of the idea, but nothing formal.
Jerry Fleshner, who is also running unopposed for the at-large seat on the council, says people have the right to vote as they choose.
All candidates agreed that this is exactly why each and every citizen should exercise their voter rights, to ensure the candidates they want speaking for them on city issues are elected into that leadership position. Ward One councilman, Mike Kots, is also running uncontested, but was unable to attend Wednesday’s forum due to a prior commitment. Carroll Broadcasting will bring you more reports from the candidate forum in upcoming broadcasts. Audio of the entire event is also available on our website at carrollbroadcasting.com.