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NFM Civic Association candidates forum July 18

By Staff | Jul 12, 2016

They’ve had plenty of candidate forums in the fall, but the North Fort Myers Civic Association hasn’t held one before the primaries – until this year.

The pre-primary candidate forum will be held from 6-8:30 p.m., Monday, July 18, at the North Fort Myers Recreation Center. All the local candidates have been invited.

Unlike in other years where candidates were given 5 minutes to talk about themselves, this time they will be asked answer issue-related questions.

Michael Land, Civic Association president, said many of the county candidates for the school board and county commission will be on hand to meet with voters and explain their platform.

He also said that he originally was going to do a forum for the November General Election, but decided against it.

“It doesn’t make sense. You have a lot of incumbents every year. Everyone knows what they stand for. It’s more important that people come out and see the new faces and be exposed to new ideas,” Land said.

Land put together a committee, led by Ed Giacalone and Larry Murphy and many others, and they got right into it even though there wasn’t much in the way of notice or time.

As of now, Land expects about 15 candidates to participate. Skip Mitchell will be the moderator.

Each candidate will get 3 minutes to speak about his or her platform, followed by a few minutes of questions for each candidate. This will be followed by a meet-and-greet at the end of the evening.

“In the past we haven’t been able to get the candidates to talk about any of the issues. I’m hoping a Q&A session will address some of the issues important to us,” Giacalone said. “We’re inviting the county commissioners who are up for election, the sheriffs and school board.”

Among the issues expected to be brought up include the budget, Conserva-tion 20/20 and Lake Okeechobee releases into the Caloosahatchee River.

Giacalone said they won’t have state rep or senate candidates because the event was put together quickly.

Those races will likely wait until the general election forum he plans to do in September.