The Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce will host a City Council Candidate Forum at the Sulphur Springs Middle School on Thursday, April 19th at 6 p.m. SSMS is located at 835 Wildcat Way in Sulphur Springs, and admittance to the forum will be through the back doors of the school. All City Council candidates have been invited to attend. The Hopkins County Democratic Party and the Hopkins County Republican Women will be providing refreshments.
The purpose of the Chamber of Commerce sponsored forum is threefold:
- To educate the public about the issues in the city council campaigns;
- To provide an opportunity for voters to hear candidates discuss those issues face-to face; and,
- To stimulate public interest and participation in the elections.
Opening and Closing Statements
The candidates will have opening and closing statements. Opening statements will be one minute, 30 seconds, and order will be determined by random draw the night of the forum. Closing statements will be 3 minutes. Incumbents will be the last speakers to present their closing statements.
Questions and Answers
Candidates will be given one minute for answers and one minute for rebuttals, if addressed by name. Candidates may not direct questions to another candidate.
Selection of Questions
Questions from the public must be submitted in advance to the Chamber of Commerce via email, fax, or mail. Questions must be received by Monday, April 16th. Submitted questions will be reviewed and approved by a committee appointed for this purpose. No
questions will be accepted from the floor during the forum. Email questions to [email protected], fax to (903)885-6516, or mail to 300 Connally Street in Sulphur Springs.
The range of topics will depend on submitted and approved questions from constituents. Each candidate will be given a minimum of two questions throughout the evening. Questions will not be distributed to candidates in advance.
Timing the Debate
The timekeeper will notify the candidates and moderator when time expires. Fifteen-second warnings will be indicated with a yellow card. Five-second warnings will be indicated with a red card. Candidates must end their comments when time is called.
Order of Speakers
Incumbents will be seated last. Seating placements for non-incumbents were selected by random draw, and are as follows:
Place One: Justin Davidson, Erica Armstrong, Incumbent Craig Johnson; Place Two: Jimmy Lucas, Sara Gibson; Place Three: Norman Sanders, Andy Lowen, Incumbent Oscar Aguilar.
Order of speakers will rotate each round of questions. For example, Place One will all the answer the same question. After the first question is read, Justin Davidson will answer first, Erica Armstrong second, Craig Johnson third. For the second question, Erica will answer first, Craig second,
The forum is scheduled to last 90 minutes.
No props or signs will be permitted on stage.
The panel will be composed of the timekeeper, Garrett Glass of Guaranty Bank & Trust; the parliamentarian, Bradley Edge of NETCinity; and the moderator, Chris Brown, Executive Director of the Ark-Tex Council of Governments.
The Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce does not and will not endorse any candidate for office.