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Column

Be informed

BCR forums are meant to educate, inform and help voters decide on April 4.

A newspaper has many roles in a community. While it’s our job to provide relevant information, help with marketing solutions and be a community advocate for all citizens, another very important role is to help educate and inform.

We at the Bureau County Republican — Shaw Media — take those tasks very seriously, and we hold them close to our hearts.

One of the ways we can accomplish some of those roles is through our candidate and informational forums.

We’ve been hosting these forums for years, and by the turnout of area citizens, the standing-room only crowds tell us people use these events to help educate themselves on how they’ll vote in upcoming elections.

Again this year, we are proud to host two forums for area voters.

The first forum is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at the Bureau County Metro Center in Princeton.

At this event, we will feature the candidates running for Princeton Park Board.

Six candidates are running for two open seats: Incumbent Dick Volker and newcomers Abbie Cochran, Alexander Hall, Mike Sayler, Brandon Nyman and Kelly Morris.

Following the park board forum, Princeton Elementary School Superintendent Tim Smith will speak to the crowd about the upcoming PES referendum on the April ballot, explaining the need for the referendum and how it affects area taxpayers.

Immediately following Smith’s presentation, we will feature the five candidates running for Princeton City Council, where two open seats are available. Candidates are Ian Cardosi, Hector M. Gomez, Jackie Davis, Raymond M. Mabry (incumbent) and Ray Swanson.

It will be a full evening, and we promise to keep the event moving on pace.

If you are a Princeton resident, we’re sure this forum will help you when you go to the polls on April 4.

On the following evening, Thursday, March 23, at 7 p.m., the BCR is hosting an informational forum at Bureau Valley High School in Manlius.

Bureau Valley School Board members will each be given a five-minute time slot to talk about the upcoming referendum district voters will see on the ballot, which includes building a new school in Sheffield and making improvements at Bureau Valley North in Walnut and improvements at the high school in Manlius.

Throughout the past couple of years, the school board and district residents have struggled with a variety of concepts and issues surrounding the district’s facilities.

We hope this forum will allow school board members to shed some light on their thoughts, allowing voters to make an informed decision.

Whether you are attending the Princeton forum or the Bureau Valley School District forum, it’s important you come to either event with an open mind and the ability to listen to a lot of information, which will allow you to go home, digest what you’ve heard and then make an educated decision by marking your ballots on April 4.

As with all of our forums, we do not allow questions from the crowd, rather the questions asked are formulated by the BCR’s Editorial Board.

Also, as always, we will expect the crowds to be respectful to each other and the candidates/school board members.

That is paramount to a good forum.

After each forum, we are encouraging any candidate or school board member to make themselves available to personally answer any questions you might have of them.

We do not require candidates/school board members to do this; we leave this option up to each individual person.

We’d like to thank you in advance for your attendance at these events.

We spend an incredible amount of time preparing for them, however, we believe it’s our job — as your hometown newspaper — to give you the information you need to help you make good decisions at the polls. We are proud to do so.

Bureau County Republican

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