Forum to offer answers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 13, 2008

With 800 miles separating Shelby County and Capitol Hill, it&8217;s only natural that voters feel a disconnect between their lives and decisions made by Washington politicians. Despite more than 100,000 residents being registered to cast ballots in upcoming local elections, it seems many might feel that same separation between themselves and local officials.

Maybe voters don&8217;t realize how much a county commission decision affects their daily lives. Commissioners can decide how much space you get between you and a neighbor in the new subdivision or determine road care and taxes in unincorporated areas.

We ask voters to not only vote in this June&8217;s commission primary but to make an informed decision about the votes they cast. One can only do that by asking questions. That opportunity will be within everyone&8217;s grasp May 19 at 6:30 p.m. during the Shelby County Election Forum to be held at Jefferson State Community College.

You might know a few names on the county commission ballots from church or civic organizations, but do you know where they stand on easing traffic congestion, bringing in additional jobs or keeping up with the constant influx of new residents?

Unless you find a way to get a few minutes with each candidate, you might only know that you&8217;ve heard his or her name before. That alone is not an informed decision. At the forum, you will get answers to some of the tougher questions.

The event will begin with a two-minute self-introduction and then a question-and-answer round. Candidates will be given one minute to respond to each questions . Following the question-and-answer period, each candidate will be given two minutes for closing remarks