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Wanting Answers: Questions For Candidates

A debate is scheduled at the high school for April 26; residents invited to submit questions

The Montclair High School Civics and Government Institute (CGI) will host a community-wide mayoral debate on Thursday, April 26 from 6:30-8:30 pm in the MHS LGI (Large Group Instruction room). The focus of the debate will be on education in Montclair and will be moderated by two high school seniors, Chris Murphy and Gabriella Peterson.

The Civics and Government Institute is a small-learning community of 10th to 12th graders within Montclair High School dedicated to the instruction of citizenship, government, and social issues.

Questions for the candidates can be emailed to cgidebate@gmail.com or submitted through Twitter @CGIdebate. The moderators will select questions from those submitted and a short portion at the end of the debate will be designated for public questioning.

Additionally, Jon Bonesteel, moderator and list-owner of the Montclair Watercooler teamed up with Cary Africk (past moderator) to pen an initial list of questions that they believe all candidates should speak to. “This is a preliminary list – a starting point,” says Bonesteel. “We’ve received our first set of answers from Selma [Avdicevic].” You can view them HERE.

Here’s the list of 16 questions. Any candidate care to take a stab at these, here, in the comments section below? Or you could email your answers to Shelley@patch.com and we'll publish them for you.

  1. What do you believe are the three most pressing problems affecting the town, in order of priority?
  2. What role should the town have in the development of businesses in Montclair?
  3. Do you believe in "outsourcing," even if it means loss of jobs or benefits to town employees in return for reduced costs and increased services?
  4. Please supply us with a copy of your resume, including education. Please point out aspects of your background that would make you a better candidate.
  5. What is the last book you read? What magazines, newspapers, etc. do youregularly read? Where do you get your news from?
  6. What value do you think "the blogs" have for Council members or the residents?
  7. What do you think of our current municipal services, e.g. trash, snow removal, etc.
  8. What do you think of our current communications efforts, i.e. the town website, broadcasting of meetings, etc.?
  9. What do you think of regionalization of services such as fire, police, library, etc.?
  10. What do you think of "shared" services?
  11. Do you believe other Council members should be a part of the appointment process for the BOE?
  12. Do you believe BOE members should be appointed or selected via popular vote/elected?
  13. What do you think of using outside consultants?
  14. What do you think of the current Council's doing away with the Capital Finance Committee? Do residents have a role there, or on other similar committees?
  15. Do you agree with the current Leaf Blower ordinance and would you change it?
  16. How would you address the low income housing issue? Do you agree with the recent Council's decision on the Wildwood property?
Jon Bonesteel March 02, 2012 at 04:00 PM
BTW - the candidate answers will also be on the Watercooler FB page for those who are not inclined to join the group. Do a search on Montclair Watercooler. Jon
Right of Center March 02, 2012 at 04:12 PM
That "per se" tells you most what you need to know about the Watercooler. Their most telling posting "guideline" is that you may not post any criticism of the moderators nor criticism of the posting guidelines. It's all rather Chinese....
frank rubacky March 02, 2012 at 08:48 PM
I would add this question to whoever is keeping the list: "As this election is essentially a referendum on what the voters want, would it be appropriate for this Council to defer to the incoming Council the final approval of the 2012-13 budget?"
Jon Bonesteel March 02, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Thanks @Frank, I will add it to the next set. Jon
CGIdebate March 04, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Thank you MTC Patch for posting this event. We appreciate it. It would be great if the citizens of Montclair come out to this debate. I would appreciate it also if the commentary stay civil in these forums regarding our event, since our students will be following the events of the debate and the election closely. Thank you. And remember: Questions for the candidates can be emailed to cgidebate@gmail.com or submitted through Twitter @CGIdebate.


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