Changes are in store for Puyallup in 2012. Dr. Tony Apostle, superintendent of the Puyallup School District, is expected to retire in June and the school board members will select his replacement.
At the same time, the city of Puyallup’s budget will need to be re-evaluated and responsibly managed, as hard decisions will need to be made in the current recession.
For these reasons and more, voters in the Nov. 8 election need to be educated before casting their ballots.
It’s for this reason that the Pierce College Office of Student Life hosted an open forum Oct.19 for the Puyallup City Council and Puyallup School Board candidates.
The forum was presented in a question-and-answer format, where each candidate received 60 seconds to answer each of the three questions, which they had not previously viewed. Also, candidates were allowed a 30-second introduction and summation. No rebuttals were allowed—only discussion.
Political science professor John Lucas hosted the forum, enforcing the rules of the discussion and asking the candidates the questions.
Audience members were asked upon their arrival to the event to submit their own questions to the candidates on note cards. Two audience questions, one for the school board candidates and one for the city council candidates, were asked at the end of the forum.
The pressure was on candidates to answer pressing community and government questions in less than a minute each.
The school board candidates were presented with questions such as their plans for technology in schools, what qualities they’re looking for in the new superintendent selection and their personal qualifications. An audience member submitted a question about half-day Wednesdays.
All candidates for the school board were in attendance at the forum. Three positions are up for election this year, all of which have two candidates. Chris Ihrig is the only current school board member campaigning for re-election.
All the city council candidates were in attendance. They were asked questions about what two issues they hoped to champion if elected, how they would describe their leadership and the importance of consensus on the board. An audience member submitted a question about encouraging senior citizens to stay in Puyallup.
The current city council is renowned for its issues in cooperation. Candidates in this election who are currently serving on the city council are Nicole Martineau, running for council at large and current District 1 member, and John Knudtsen, current District 1 member who is running unopposed for the District 1 position.
After the open forum, a reception enabled attendees, which included students and community members, to mingle with the candidates.
Student Programs organized the forum.
“We set the whole thing up. Student Programs called everybody, set everything up, reserved everything…students planned the whole thing,” Kimi Shoemaker, student development coordinator, said.
ASPCP President Lauren Adler said the concept for this forum stemmed from the upcoming election. Student Programs leaders planned the event to help educate both students and community members for the upcoming election.
“I have been posting these posters around campus so all students can have a good look at that, night students and day students,” Student Programs Marketing Coordinator Yuliya Rybalka said. “I have been canvassing a few times. We go door-to-door and talk to people in the community.”
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