Fillmore County commissioner candidates set for Aug. 3 forum

Fillmore County commissioner candidates Kevin Beck and Larry Hindt have accepted an invitation to participate in a candidates’ forum on Saturday, Aug. 3, at 10:30 a.m. in the Spring Valley Community Center.

The League of Women’s Voters-Fillmore County and the Bluff Country Newspaper Group are hosting the forum prior to the Aug. 13 special general election for District 3 commissioner, which is open due to the earlier resignation of Gary Peterson. District 3 represents the cities of Spring Valley and Ostrander as well as the townships of Beaver, Bloomfield, Forestville and York in Fillmore County.

Candidates will respond to questions on a wide variety of issues of concern to voters. League of Women Voters-Fillmore County member Anne Marie Flynn will moderate this event, which is free and open to the public.

The League of Women Voters-Fillmore County is cosponsoring this event with Bluff Country Newspaper Group to bring nonpartisan voter education to the community of Spring Valley. The League does not endorse candidates for office or political parties.

During the forum, candidates will deliver a two-minute opening statement. Each candidate will have one minute to answer the questions posed by the moderator.

Voters attending the forum have two opportunities to submit questions to the candidates. Written questions will be accepted throughout the forum. The League also has an email — lwvfillmorecty@lwvmn.org — for voters to submit questions in advance. By League of Women Voter policy, the identity of the person asking the question is confidential. Any questions submitted via email will remain confidential with all identifying information removed before the event.

Audience members also can submit questions in writing at the event, in accordance with published forum rules.

Beginning in 2016, League of Women Voters Minnesota implemented a candidate participation policy change that all forums will be held as scheduled, even if one of the candidates is unable or unwilling to attend. Flynn explained the change responded to voters’ concerns about the past practice of canceling forums when an opponent in a two-candidate race was unable or unwilling to be present. Now, if one candidate does not appear, the candidate in attendance will have an opportunity for opening and closing statements and to respond to questions submitted by the audience.

“We make every effort to choose dates that are agreeable to candidates and not in conflict with other public meetings or events. In today’s political environment, the League is choosing to retain control of our events not bending to the will of those candidates who would prefer not to answer voter questions and to see our events canceled,” Flynn said.

The League of Women Voters-Fillmore County, a nonpartisan 501(c)3 political organization, encourages informed and active participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership is open to all citizens. Membership information will also be available at the forum.

Bluff Country Newspaper Group is a network of community newspapers that seek to inform the residents of local communities about issues relevant to their lives. The Spring Valley Tribune, which is co-hosting the forum, is one of six newspapers in the group.

For more information about the forum, contact Flynn, voter service chair, at 920-242-1748 or at lwvfillmorecty@lwvmn.org