Communication Builds Our Community

Monday Forum Will Allow Citizens to Question Candidates

An Open Microphone will be Featured at the 5:00 pm Event

As a pair of contested city elections move toward a climactic vote on April 5 citizens will have another opportunity to see and hear the five vying for the two open seats.

A forum will take place Monday afternoon, March 14, beginning at 5:00, a time chosen by organizers to allow working people to stop in before heading home, according to Juanita Zwaryczuk, co-president of the sponsoring American Association of University Women. The cosponsoring GFWC Lake Wales Women's Club will host the forum at their clubhouse auditorium at 275 East Park Avenue downtown.

"Both organizations are non-profit, non-partisan groups, without religious affiliation." Zwaryczuk said. "We do not take a position with regards to candidates in elections. That is why we decided to sponsor this forum and to offer it as a public service to the citizens of the area."

The AAUW has sponsored the event each election cycle for several years.

Three candidates, including former commissioner Curtis Gibson, current commissioner Jack Hilligoss, and political newcomer and management consultant Tammy James are seeking the mayoral post being vacated by Eugene Fultz. Fultz was the city's first voter-elected mayor following a charter change ten years ago.

Two candidates seeking the District 4 seat on the city commission, Danny Krueger and James Loydd, are also expected to appear and answer questions. Krueger, 75, is retired. Loydd, 49, is a long-time youth sports leader who operates an after-school program, part of his parent's childcare business.

Both the mayor and commissioner terms are three years.

The format will allow voters to ask questions directly of one or more candidates by coming to a microphone. Other candidates will then be given the opportunity to address the same question.

Hilligoss, 56, is a church pastor who was appointed to a vacant seat last summer. Gibson, 37, is currently an insurance adjuster. He previously served two terms on the commission. James, 58, is a financial and management consultant for the World Wide Fund for Nature, which operates in the US as the World Wildlife Fund.

Both Hilligoss and Krueger skipped a previous forum.

LakeWalesNew.Net will offer a video recording of the forum available through soon after it is concluded.


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