October 9, 2009

More debates possible, if anyone's willing to sponsor them

All three mayoral candidates said they are willing to debate more if a sponsor turns up for additional showdowns.
“I’m open to anything that’s being assembled,” Mayor Art Ward said Friday.
The only scheduled debate is set for Thursday at a breakfast meeting of the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce for which people who want to attend have to pay. It will be taped and televised later, however.
Republican mayoral hopeful Mary Alford said it would be nice to have “a Lincoln-Douglas style debate “where the candidates actually face off within a timed comment-rebuttal structure.”
“It’s a bit trickier to set up and manage but I think it might be exciting,” she said.
Independent mayoral candidate Gary Lawton, who rounds out the field, said he’s willing to talk to any group that’s interested in hearing what he has to say.
Ward said he hasn’t learned of any potential debates other than the one put together by the chamber.
“Time is getting real short,” the mayor said, but if someone else wants to sponsor a session, he’d try to get there.
“If my schedule is such that I can be there, it sounds good to me,” Ward said.
Alford said she recognizes “that time is short and financing a challenge, but if there is anyone or any group willing to sponsor such a debate, I say let’s do it.”
In past municipal races, forums and debates have been sponsored by a variety of organizations, including the Federal Hill Association, student groups at the high schools, senior advocates and others. But it doesn’t appear any have plans to step forward this year.
Lawton said it is “unfortunate” the chamber is charging for attendance at the sole debate on the calendar.
The mayoral debate, moderated by television newsman Tom Monahan, will be broadcast on Comcast channel 96 and AT&T’s U-Verse channel 99 at 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 19 and again at 6 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 1.
There is also a City Council debate, which is free to attend, that begins at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 20 at City Hall. Bristol Press Publisher Mike Schroeder will serve as its moderator.
The council debates will be shown live on the same channels as the mayoral contest. It will be shown again at 6 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 25 and at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 28.
The election is Tuesday, November 3. Mayors and councilors serve two-year terms.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

A sponsor?
This seems like a false or made up requirement in order to avoid facing the electors directly.
Frankly, the voters are the "sponsors" already!
The citizens of Bristol are paying enough taxes to be entitled to free and open debates in any one of the large facilities owned by this city?
Who sponsored the "debates" during previous administrations when they were held at the high school auditioriums, the Senior Center, or City Hall?
Open up City Hall, for heavens sake! If it's good enough for council candidates, it's certainly good enough for mayoral candidates.

Come on mayoral contenders .... agree on a moderator, and open yourselves up to answering some questions on those little pieces of paper that come directly from the audience.

if these mayoral contenders can't solve this little problem in short order, and get stuck in this little a quagmire, how are they going to deal in future with the more demanding issues that face this city?

Anonymous said...

Why bother?

It is all BS anyhow.

Do you remember what Ward said two years ago? And has done since?

Do you think Alford/Mocabee will be any different?

And do you think the voters will be open minded enough to listen?

We have two Town committee choices and one independent who has no experience.

What choice do WE have?

Anonymous said...

Met Ms. Alford the other day, nice lady but certainly not ready to be mayor.

My question is, "Why do the Republicans do this, pick an unqualified candidate and then let them swing in the wind?"

Not the sign of good leadership>

truth said...

1:37 - seems like an accurate assessment of mocabee and company.

Anonymous said...

Going on what someone stated above on what Art was saying and doing 2 years ago, I went back to May of 2008...


Maybe you can answer this!

Last coucil meeting if I remember right, Mike Rimcoski made a motion for a hiring freeze and the motion was seconded. The mayor made a statement that there was already a system in place for hiring so no such action was needed. He said all new hires must go before the council to get approval. Mike R withdrew his motion as did the second.

NOW.....for the press! All of a sudden he puts up a hiring freeze! If that's not posturing I don't know what is!!

Nice try Ward! Mike R already beat you to the punch!

Ward....Moving Bristol Backwards!

May 1, 2008 8:47 AM

I guess some things never change.

Anonymous said...

12:56 PM obviously has a lot of time on his hands (and a very big chip on his shoulder)...proving once again that some things never change.

become real said...

One has to be crazy to run for politics in Bristol. Other cities might have their philosophical differences but they don't seem to be so negative and personal to each other. Have to believe that our forefathers would be rolling over in their graves if they ever knew about this travesty.
How about if all of you pontificating 'holier than thou" know-it-alls serve as examples for others rather than as a reason for people to hate politics. I am not naive enough to think that my words will resound with most of you but you should know that somw of us are actually despondent reading this trash>

Anonymous said...


You can see it, you can remember it.

How come the Republicans can't or don't want to?

Where is Cockayne? Is he in bed with Ward?

Ward was beatable, but not the way they are going at it.

Anonymous said...

Ward has no idea what he is doing or what he has said. He tells you what you want to hear, then does what HE WANTS. Bristol is moving backwards with Ward.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the Bristol Press sponsor a debate?

Anonymous said...

Actually, IF the Former BRISTOL Press were to print releases, candidates could present their views, which would be sorta like a debate.
Ability to debate, to be quick witted, does not necessarily relate to ones ability to manage and make sound suggestions and make sound decisions.

Anonymous said...

Bring back Stortz!!!

Steve Collins said...

3:37 -- The Press asked each of the candidates a series of questions and received answers from all of them. Those answers will be printed in the paper. Read them, if you can, and you'll have a pretty good idea where the candidates stand on the issues.
As for the press release idea, all you have to do is read what politicians put out to know they rarely raise anything controversial. If we ran press releases, it would tell you almost nothing of value. Believe me, I've been reading these things for 25 years. They're almost always dull, dull, dull -- and useless. There are exceptions. Those exceptions are nearly always turned into news stories.

Anonymous said...


I disagree!

Press releases would tell us ABOUT the candidates, as well as what they are thinking or willing to say.

It would get topics on the table.

Your approach favors the incumbents, the status quo.

But then, it is no wonder readership is dwindling!

Steve Collins said...

9:42 -- You've seen every single press release on this blog. Which of them should have been in the paper?

Anonymous said...

All of them, and any others that we haven't seen!

Anonymous said...

9:42 AM, Get real. If the Press printed every release from the candidates it'd go from being a newspaper to a bedtime story...great for putting people to sleep. Do you really think Lawton's barely coherent ramblings would make for good reading?