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Monday, October 12, 2015

On Tuesday, October 13, 2015 the voters of the city of Lockport have been invited to a forum at the Palace Theater at 7 p.m.

On Tuesday, November 3, 2015 the voters of the city of Lockport will be able to make their voices heard at the ballot box. (Incidentally, don’t forget to look at the back of the ballot regarding the proposal dealing with the treasurer’s office).

I am pleased that there will be a “debate” on Tuesday, October 13. I am disappointed that this forum will be conducted by two entities, namely, a local radio station and local print publication.

There is a perception in the community that bias exists on the parts of these two players. In addition, there is a perception that one candidate will be fielding questions in a softball fashion while the other candidate will be fielding questions as if he is playing hardball.

I believe this is unfortunate. Restricting this forum to the only two public information outlets is in my opinion wrong. There are three print publications, one Internet-based information outlet, and one radio outlet feeding the local population.

I offer as a suggestion for future forums which are charged with informing the public:

  • “The league of women voters a nonpartisan political organization dedicated to making democracy work through voter education, issue advocacy and citizen participation,” should be the sponsoring organization for future debates.
  • A debate is according to definition a forum to engage in discussion ostensibly to argue as a question in a public assembly.
  • Debates when reported by journalist should be characterized by objective writing.
  • The objective writing should be at the hands of individuals with integrity, in essence, honest and sound information.

It is my opinion that an excellent opportunity to convey meaningful information that would assist the public in making an informed decision has been missed.

I hope and I pray that the two individuals conducting and controlling this event will heed at least some of the comments and suggestions made here.

This community deserves a balanced, objective, nonpartisan, event, which would encourage answers from the participants on matters of concern to this community. The questions should be the same for both parties. The questions should be those that the community is concerned about.

Responsible Government, is not only transparent government, but is always honest. Government in a democracy serves all the people all the time in a fair and equitable fashion.

— Tony Sammarco is a City of Lockport resident

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