Home News and Features Montpelier Rotary and The Bridge Present Candidate Forums Feb. 27

Montpelier Rotary and The Bridge Present Candidate Forums Feb. 27

Montpelier mayoral candidates, from left, Dan Jones, Jack McCullough, and Richard Sheir. Courtesy photos.
The Montpelier Rotary Club will host one forum for city mayoral candidates and a second forum for city council candidates in contested races on Feb. 27 in council chambers at Montpelier City Hall. The mayoral forum is planned for 12:30 to 2 p.m. Council candidates will be introduced in a session from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The events are free of charge and open to the public.

Managing Editor Cassandra Hemenway of The Bridge will serve as moderator of the live, in-person event. Viewers can also watch live from ORCA Media on Comcast channel 1085 and online at orcamedia.net. The forum will be recorded and available for later viewing at orcamedia.net.

Hemenway invites Montpelier voters to send questions they’d like her to ask candidates to editor@montpelierbridge.com. 

“We’re accustomed to having candidates for local office present their ideas to the Rotary Club, but this is the first time we’ve hosted a forum that is open to the public,” said Kim Bent, founding artistic director of Lost Nation Theater and president of the Rotary Club of Montpelier for 2022–2023. “This event contributes to our mission of serving our community and we’re pleased to be able to present it.”

Montpelier’s election will take place on Town Meeting Day, March 7, with voting by Australian ballot from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at city hall. Registered voters can also request and file mail-in ballots from the Vermont Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page” at mvp.vermont.gov/.

Three candidates are running to replace former mayor Anne Watson, who resigned after being elected to the State Senate for Washington County. They are Montpelier residents Dan Jones, Jack McCullough, and Richard Sheir. Each candidate will have a chance to introduce himself and outline his vision for the city. Moderator Hemenway will also pose additional questions.

Sal Alfano, left, and Merrick Modun are running for the District 2 city council seat. Courtesy photos.
Six candidates are running in contested races for three seats on the city council. In District 2, Sal Alfano is running against Merrick Modun to fill a one-year vacancy. In District 3, Tim Heney will appear on the ballot along with Thomas M. Abdelnour in a race for a two-year term. Although prospective candidate Zachary Hughes missed the deadline for filing a valid petition, he has announced that he will run as a write-in candidate in District 3 and has been invited to participate in the forum.

From left, Tom Abdelnour, Tim Heney, and Zack Hughes are running for District 3. Courtesy photos.
Two candidates are also seeking re-election in uncontested races. They are Lauren Hierl in District 1 and Pelin Kohn in District 2. Both candidates are seeking election to a two-year term.

“We are grateful to Cassandra Hemenway and The Bridge for participating in this event, and to ORCA for broadcasting it.” Bent added. “The forum will help Montpelier voters decide who will lead our city in the year ahead.”

To see a preview of the kind of questions that will be asked at the forum, and how mayoral candidates responded, see “Montpelier Mayoral Candidates Speak to Country Club Road, Infrastructure” in the Feb. 8 issue of The Bridge, or find it online at montpelierbridge.org/2023/02/montpelier-mayoral-candidates-speak-to-country-club-road-infrastructure.  

The Montpelier Rotary Club is a professional service organization with local and international programming that seeks to create friendly relationships and cooperation among the peoples of the world. Among its local programs are the middle school backpack program, the Kitzmiller Memorial Coat Drive, and annual scholarships for local high school seniors, awarding more than $50,000 each year. The Montpelier Rotary Club, in concert with Rotary International and the world’s 4,200 Rotary clubs in 118 countries, are also engaged in a long-range campaign to eradicate polio worldwide. 

 The Club meets twice per month on Mondays and will celebrate its 100th anniversary on June 9.

—press release