Yantis ISD slates candidate forum Monday

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Apr. 27, 2007 - Yantis voters will have the opportunity to become better acquainted Monday night with the candidates for the May 12 school board election, as well as ask them questions pertaining to their views on school-related issues during a candidate forum.

The forum is being held as a special called board meeting due to the potential for at least four of the board members being present, including both candidates seeking re-election, according to Yantis Superintendent Harold Cowley.

The school is hosting the forum at the request of the school board to give candidates an opportunity to voice their opinions and to give voters a chance to ask further questions. The forum will begin at 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

Cowley will act as moderator for the event. Audience members will be allowed to ask questions of the candiates.

Yantis has four spots on its board which will be determined by the May 12 election — one for a one-year term, one for a two-year term and two for three-year terms.

Arlan Jaeger and Bo West are currently serving in the two full-term seats. The two-year seat was left open with Gary Long's recent resignation from the board, and Nicole Burchfield was appointed earlier in the year to serve in the other seat left open when a board member had to resign after moving out of the district. There is one year left on the unexpired spot Burchfield has been serving. 

For the one-year unexpired term, voters will choose from three candidates — Arlan Jaeger, Kristina Shoemaker and Corey Ogle. Two candidates — Ron McKinney and Betty Caudle  — have filed for the two-year unexpired term. Voters will choose two of the six candidates — Amber Burnett, Mike Kenney, Karen Dodgen, Tommy Davis, Nathan Crist and incumbent Bo West — running for the three-year seats.

At the fourm, the candidates will be introduced alphabetically and allowed to present opening statements, including why they are running for the school board and the three key areas they would want to work on if elected to the board.

Questions will then be taken from the audience, and directed either directly to particular candidates or the panel as a whole. The audience and candidates will be asked to follow a few guidelines to ensure the forum progresses  as timely and fairly as possible.

Candidate will be given two-minute time limits for questions. They will not be allowed to engage in discussion about any particular individual associated with the school district, nor will the candidates be permitted to debate among themselves, only to answer questions. Candidates will be asked to respond specifically to the question asked, not topics of choice. Candidates also will not be allowed to solicit funds or anything else of that nature during the forum.

Questions will be screened for redundancy, and if more than one person or a group wishes to ask the same question, the questioners will be asked to designate one person to pose the question. In order to speak, the audience member must be recognized by the moderator who will note the person's name when introducing the question. Also, no “outbursts” will be permitted under the forum rules.

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