For the third time in four years, the Clarinda Herald-Journal will sponsor a candidate forum.

This time it will be the seven Clarinda school board candidates trying to win one of the three seats on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The forum is 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 24 at Clarinda Middle School in the commons area.

Our first forum was in fall 2015 for three city council seats. Afterward, some of those in attendance approached me and said they were appreciative of the event as it puts the candidates in a different setting and people get to know them and the issues.

The next spring we had another forum for the two Page County Board of Supervisor seats and sheriff. The comments afterward continued with voters and those interested thanking us for letting us learn more about the candidates.

Because of the supportive comments from you is a reason why we wanted to do a forum.

We initially asked to use the high school auditorium, but our Oct. 24 date is smack dab in the middle of the school, fall play. The play is scheduled the following weekend, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2.

With the set under construction, it would be difficult to use the high school stage, which is why the middle school was chosen.

We plan to use regular chairs at the middle school, not the student lunch tables. With the chairs, I’m hoping the commons will look like a middle school music concert if you have ever been to one there.

Timing is also a challenge.

If a forum is held too early, candidate comments may be forgotten by the time to go to the polls. Have it too late, and the crowd may not be very large because the voters have already decided who to vote for.

The names are already out there, people may have already decided who they will vote for.

Dr. Brian Hesse from Northwest Missouri State University will be the moderator for the evening and ask all the questions.

Page County Auditor Melissa Wellhausen, whose office coordinates elections within the county, will inform the audience about the new things voters may see in the polls. This is the first year school board and city council candidates will be on the same ballot. State legislators approved the merger to hopefully increase voter turnout.

If you can’t make the forum, we plan to run the candidates’ answers in the Oct. 31 edition.

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