Louisiana American Legion Post 370 will host a public forum for candidates in contested Louisiana city council and school board races.
The public is encouraged to attend the free event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, in the legion building at 420 Kelly Lane. Doors will open at 6 p.m.
Candidates for Louisiana Ward 1 councilperson, Ward II councilperson, Ward III councilperson and Louisiana R-II School Board have been invited to participate.
A moderator will ask questions submitted by news representatives of The Louisiana Press-Journal and The People’s Tribune newspapers and KJFM radio. Audience members may submit questions between 6 and 6:20 p.m. on provided sheets of paper.
The candidates in Louisiana Ward 1 are incumbent Ann Handford and challenger Salvatore Pollice. In Ward 2, the race pits Kathy Smith against incumbent Don Oakley. The Ward 3 race is between James Minor and Bart Niedner, who are competing for a seat left vacant by the impeachment of Robbyn Morris.
The candidates for two spots on the Louisiana R-II School Board are incumbent Allen Telle and challengers Rob Lumley and Lori Helkey. Incumbent Lisa Pitzer is not seeking re-election.
The following procedure will be used:
• Candidates will be seated according to the race in which they are participating on a stage with microphones. The news media will be invited.
• Candidates will be given two minutes to answer each question. Opponents will then have two minutes each to respond. A signal will be given when candidates have 15 seconds remaining.
• The moderator will interrupt candidates who exceed the time limit and proceed to the next question.
• At the end of each 20-minute question-and-answer period, candidates will be given two minutes each to summarize their campaigns.
• Candidates may not ask direct questions of each other.
The facility is large, so candidates are encouraged to bring supporters, who certainly may wear endorsement shirts, sweatshirts, jackets or hats. However, no political signs or banners will be allowed inside the building.
At the event, the audience will be asked to hold its applause until the end of each segment.
Following are general rules not mentioned above:
• Questions of a libelous or lascivious nature will not be considered.
• Candidates are asked to avoid personal attacks against opponents.
• Due to the short time period allowed for questions, some inquiries may not be answered.
• Candidates will be assured of having a chance to answer a question, even if the projected time limit for the segment has been reached.
• Candidates are welcome to stay after all races have been covered to meet with constituents and the public should they choose to discuss specific issues or provide in-depth answers.
• American Legion Post 370 has agreed to sponsor and host the event solely as a community service. Neither the organization nor its members specifically or publicly endorse candidates for any election.
• Alcoholic beverages will not be served during this event.