Association of Realtors’ candidates forum tonight
Citizens will get their first look at nearly all of the 19 candidates in this year’s municipal election when the Cape Coral Association of Realtors hosts the season’s first forum Thursday.
Open to the public, the forum will feature 16 of the 19 candidates.
Former City Council member Chris Berardi will be moderating the event, which should wrap up by 9 p.m.
“This is actually the first forum the Cape Coral Association of Realtors has put on. We’re trying to make an effort to be more involved in the community and good city city government,” he said.
Although people can vote at large, Berardi said the candidates will be brought up by district to answer questions. The audience will also be able to ask written questions during the forum, he said.
Each candidate will have a two minute opening statement, a minute to answer questions and a minute to provide a closing statement.
Topics will include the future of the Utilities Expansion Project, what the candidates hope to achieve if elected and why they are running for office in the first place, among others.
“This is more of an opportunity for people to put a name to a face, and the chance to learn a little about the candidate’s background,” Berardi added.
Because it is the first forum of the season, Berardi doubts it will result in many fireworks since a vast majority of the candidates are new to the political arena, and these types of forums, as a result.
Berardi predicts the candidates will be getting to know one another as well, but thinks the forum will provide experience moving forward through the election cycle.
“We wanted to start early because we know the candidates have a learning curve when it comes to these forums,” he said. “The sooner we start the sooner we’ll have a more educated pool of candidates and voters. It works out for everybody.”
According to Berardi, James B. McManus and Charles Stanton from District 5, and Erica Nicole Warren from District 7, will not be attending the forum as of this publication. All of the other candidates are scheduled to attend.
Doors open for the forum at 5:15 p.m., with the forum itself expected to begin at 6 p.m. and last approximately three hours.
The Cape Coral Association of Realtors is located at 918 S.E. 46th Lane, in Club Square. For more information, call 542-6209.